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Magazine and Digital Publishing Industry State of the Industry Survey Report Released

16 Nov 2012

Key indications from Publishers Australia's state of the industry survey were released at the Magazine Week Conference this week.

The survey results embraced various sectors of the industry and indications exhibit a positive view to the development and growth of the industry. With technological change being embraced the respondents being MD's, CEO's and Publishers, many are predicting the growth of their businesses through brand extensions, new launches and more digital offerings aimed at the strength of reader engagement. For the results

Publishers Australia has just released the results from its State of the Industry Survey this week at Magazine Week

Membership, Demographics & Operations

• 65 per cent of participants are members of Publishers Australia
• 47 per cent are members of the Audit Bureaux of Australia (ABC, CAB, ABA)
• 25 per cent are not members of any association

The majority of respondents were CEOs, MDs and Publishers. Companies have a median of 6 full time employees & 4 part-time/casual staff.

63 per cent operate in consumer magazines - print, paid.
42 per cent also operate in custom magazines - print & consumer digital magazines.

Consumer magazines - print, paid, represent the majority turnover for 50 per cent

B2B print magazines represent the majority of turnover for 22 per cent

Companies had a median of 3 custom magazine-print titles/brands, 3 B2B print and 3 B2B digital magazines.

In the next 12-18 months publishers are planning to launch a median of 2.5 custom digital magazines, 2.0 custom magazines - print, 2.0 consumer digital magazines.

Online/Digital Publishing

• 52 per cent indicated that social media and SEO are expected to contribute to online revenues in the next two years.
• 91 per cent indicated that online revenue is expected to grow in the next 2 years
• 46 per cent plan to increase the amount of free content online
• 25 per cent will hold the amount of free content online at current levels
• 21 per cent will increase the amount of paid-for content

Circulation, Readership and Distribution

• 20 per cent of sales come from subscriptions for print tiles with paid circulation
• 10 per cent of sales come from subscriptions for B2B print titles
• Online access fees will hold steady or will retain a free-of-charge model
• Subscription prices and cover prices will hold steady for the majority
• 68 per cent view the newsagency channel important
• 51 per cent expected the importance to decrease
• 38 per cent expect it to remain the same

The majority have national distribution

• 59 per cent are satisfied with their magazines' distribution
• 23 per cent are dissatisfied

Overall publishers expect revenue to grow for subscriptions

• 36 per cent believe newsstand revenue will grow
• 36 per cent believe it will contract
• 26 per cent consider it will hold steady


Publishers indicated that in the last reporting year, the following median figures came from advertising revenue:

• B2B print magazines: $1.7 million
• Custom print: $1.5 million
• Custom magazines - print $650k
• Consumer magazines - print, paid: $500k
• 32 per cent will increase ad rates for online/digital
• 34 per cent will hold rates
• 24 per cent expect to do more print and online packages
• 53 per cent will hold print ad rates at current levels
• 23 per cent will increase print ad rates

Marketing and Promotion


• 78 per cent will invest in social media in the next 2 years
• 72 per cent will develop new offers / incentives
• 62 per cent will promote via digital platforms
• 57 per cent at exhibitions and events
• 55 per cent will invest in electronic direct mail


• 47 per cent believe their budgets will remain steady for marketing to retail channel
• 45 per cent to advertisers / agencies
• 50 per cent to consumer readers

Company Performance & Operations

• $1.2 million was the median turnover in the last reporting year
• $11.7 million among organisations with 21 or more employees

Online brands advertising sales to grow

Print brands retails sales expected to decline in the next 2 years

• 81 per cent indicated that B2B magazine publishing is at least moderately profitable.
• 66 per cent indicated that both contract / custom publishing and consumer magazine publishing are at least moderately profitable.
• 58 per cent consider that outsourced and / or freelance services will grow in 2 years
• 39 per cent consider that it will remain steady.


• 53 per cent of companies are aiming to be more energy efficient
• 50 per cent are interested in finding greener ways to operate
• 10 per cent are aiming to be carbon neutral


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