UK publishing expert Jim Bilton addressed publishers in Sydney and Melbourne last week refuting the perception that magazines "are all heading to the cemetery".
Jim Bilton, managing director of Wessenden Marketing & Brandlab Research, which has just completed two landmark studies of 190 UK publishers who between them manage thousands of newspapers and magazines.
He shared the findings of the surveys - called 2009 Publishing Future and Subscription Marketing Practice - at a breakfast briefing ‘Survival of the Fastest, hosted by Australia Post.
The surveys can be closely linked to the article in Publishing Edge on 23rd June 2009 titled, "Major Report on the Future of Publishing."
Bilton said the winners in the publishing war will be those who adapt most quickly to current threats and opportunities.
"You're not as good as you think you are at understanding consumers and their journey, especially compared to the FMCG brands," said Bilton.
"Don't get left behind. The real competition is other leisure spend items like Starbucks coffee and cinema."
With subscriptions accounting for 12 per cent of total magazine copy sales in Australia and 16 per cent in the UK, strong parallels could be drawn between the two markets, whereas the strongly ad driven US market (with an 87 per cent subscription ratio) occupied a "parallel universe".
Bilton commented on the current state of the publishing industry stating that the "Apocalyptic headlines that magazines are all heading towards the cemetery" were way off the mark.
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