What happened to the Magazines that are inserted in Hispanic Newspapers?

Remember the heyday of magazines that were inserted in Hispanic newspapers (so-called carrier newspapers)? Kena, Sobre Ruedas, Fox Sports en Español, Hogar Latino, etc… Only two years have passed since their demise. The circulations for each of these magazines was close to a million. Those were the boom times of Hispanic print… What happened and who is remaining in the market? Here are 6 questions about newspaper inserts Portada’s editorial team tried to answer.

Why did the insert business model not work for so many publications? Does it never work?

It can work very well, look at the tremendous success publications like Parade or USA Weekend have had in the general market. They are inserted into tens of millions of general market newspapers every week. And don’t forget that there are still some publications using the insert model in the Hispanic market.

So why did so many fail?

The answer is relatively easy on the cost side: High printer bills, distribution logistics and the CPMs (Cost per thousands) publishers charge to insert publications in their newspapers.
These vary depending on bargaining power anywhere from $20 to $60 per thousand. So a publication with a circulation of a million will spend $20,000 to $60,000 to be inserted into a newspaper. (The price of inserting a magazine in a newspaper is lower than the one of a Free Standing Insert ad, this is because the magazines provides the carrier newspaper content that can be valued by their readers).

But direct mailing a publication must be much more expensive…

Definitely, direct mail is much more expensive (between $200 and $800 per thousand depending on the weight of the publication) yet it is razor sharp in reaching the target audience, particularly if the publisher/marketer has a good database.

Did advertisers like the Hispanic magazine insert phenomenon?

Advertisers liked the relatively high reach of these publications, but the problem is that these publications often have a large waste factor. Not all newspaper readers are interested in the topic of the publication (e.g. Women’s magazines, Sports, Home Improvement etc…). Even if readers are interested in the content, they are worth less to advertisers than newsstand buyers and/or subscribers. In the Hispanic market most newspapers are free weeklies, so in fact not even the carrier newspaper is purchased by the reader.
Many advertisers concluded that magazines inserted in carrier newspapers are a much easier way to build circulation than newsstand or subscription marketing, yet this comes at a price: the lower quality of the audience.

So who are the Hispanic survivors?

Sports publications Futbol Mundial and Beisbol Mundial are among the survivors; both are published by Sensacion Marketing. Cost efficient management and the high popularity of sports among Hispanics may be the reason for that. Impremedia’s Vista Magazine, the oldest magazine that is inserted into newspapers in the Hispanic market used to be published monthly and now is published five times a year.

Have there been new entrants?

Yes, interestingly, the new approach to inserting magazines is less spectacular and more opportunistic. One example is Nexos, a quarterly magazine published by Eclipse Marketing, Eclipse created Nexos Latino, a quarterly magazine which is designed to entertain, educate, and create relevant value for cable products. The magazine was launched in the fall of 2009 and distributed nationwide. Nexos Latinos(tm) is either mailed to Hispanic households, which is its predominant form of distribution, or inserted in Hispanic newspapers. Its inaugural issue was inserted in such local newspapers as Viva Colorado in Denver and El Mundo in Las Vegas.
In April the AARP announced the relaunch of Segunda Juventud. (now called VIVA su Segunda Juventud). The quarterly magazine has a circulation of 500,000. A part of its circulation is direct mailed and another inserted into the following Hispanic newspapers: (La Opinión 110,000 (Los Angeles), La Raza 70,000 (Chicago), El Diario La Prensa:
153,000 (New York).