Audience Engagement Digital Publishing
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The rebirth of magazines (no, really): The Media Roundup

The rebirth of magazines

Last night we recorded the next episode of Media Voices where we did a deep dive into newsletter trends over the past year with Mark Stenberg. One of the points that came out was that newsletters – although an ancient format – have been seen with fresh eyes by publishers and are being treated more like newspapers and magazines. Each issue an antidote to the endless scrolling and algorithmic feeds of the rest of the internet.

Brian Morrissey makes the point in his latest newsletter that we’re starting to see a resurgence of ‘magazine approaches’ in digital media. Not ink-and-paper mags, but a renewed interest in hand-crafted media creation and discovery. Some brands are even being quite explicit about trying to recreate the weekend magazine experience in a newsletter.

Morrissey does end on a hopeful note for physical magazines though: “It’s worth remembering that for all the talk of death, most media forms stick around. Streaming music hasn’t eliminated vinyl. Paper books are still more popular than e-books. It wouldn’t be surprising for physical media to become a mental health habit as a way to cut down on screen time.”

How the Financial Times got 78,000+ replies to a survey

With open rates becoming less reliable, the FT needed a way to better measure the success of their email strategy. They found it through surveys. I would bet that the FT have a few million subscribers to their newsletters, which will help, but there are some simple and smart ideas here for encouraging newsletter subscribers to respond in the face of challenging open rate metrics.

Most of the Americans who will pay for news are rich

Ok this headline is a big ‘well…DUH’ moment. But the piece itself is actually very interesting. It breaks down people’s views on how news organisations should be funded, and by age group too. Figure 17 highlights the biggest issue with subscriptions in news in particular: if people hit a paywall, 48% of them try to access the information elsewhere for free.

Pushers: How publishers became addicted to the traffic hit from news alerts

Push notifications are very, very good at driving traffic to websites. So it’s understandable that they’ve started to creep from being something to alert audiences to Big News Events (like lettuces outliving PMs) to something that many publishers are now sending daily, regardless of whether the news is worth a ‘flash’ treatment. Mind you, every day feels like a Big News Event here at the moment.

This content originally appeared in The Media Roundup, a daily newsletter from Media Voices. Subscribe here: