|The industry body for magazines, Magazine Publishers of Australia (MPA) made up of heavyweights Bauer Media Group (formerly ACP), Pacific Publications and NewsLifeMedia, will relaunch early next year with a redesigned website, a new trade campaign, consumer activations and a strengthened social media offering.
Announcing the relaunch at a press dinner in Sydney last week, newly appointed MPA executive director Robin Parkes said the magazine industry had been "pretty quiet" for the last few years and focussed on internal issues.
"The relaunch of the MPA signifies the renewed commitment of the three major publishers to the industry, and for improved transparency and unity on the industry issues that count," she said.
The relaunch comes on the back of the Audit Bureau of Circulation's mid year magazine audit, which revealed an overall average sales drop of 4.2 per cent year-on-year.
Matthew Stanton, CEO of Bauer Media and newly installed chairman of the MPA, said he thought the magazine market in Australia was "completely undercooked" and stressed its enduring strength in rough economic times.
"Even in a tough environment, over the past 12 months Australians bought 172 million magazines at a total of $894m," he said.
"Despite the hype, total magazine sales have been remarkably robust - and, more than ever, shows the trust consumers have in the brands we publish across multiple platforms."
He also questioned why ad spend on magazines in Australia sat at 4 per cent of the total spend, compared to the UK, where magazines account for 8 per cent of total ad spend, and the US, where they account for 12 per cent.
In underscoring the personal relationships magazines had with readers, Nick Chan, CEO of Pacific Magazines said technology was inferior to the power of the personal engagement magazines could provide.
"Great movies go beyond special effects, and that's what we do in magazines. We provide an experience that goes beyond ink on paper... Magazines touch people, magazines make people feel good, and magazines let you belong."
Nicole Sheffield, MD of NewsLifeMedia also emphasised the intimate connections magazines could foster with readers : "Through these influential titles, we can drive personalised solutions far greater than any mass media product.
"No media works in isolation anymore, value is key to the longevity of brands as they inspire and create great content. Our magazines build unique relationships with audiences in a meaningful and relevant way."
The MPA was formed in 1995 and this relaunch is the first since its inception.
An event will be held early in the new year to formally mark the relaunch of its new look.