Magazine distribution was a hot topic at the “Segundo Congreso Iberoamericano de Editores de Revistas” organized by FIPP (Federacion Internacional de Prensa Periodica) and Caniem (Cámara Nacional de la Industria Editorial Mexicana). Discussion at the conference focused on how to solve distribution problems that stem from poor quality retail networks (mostly newsstands) and unreliable mail systems which make subscriptions sales an ongoing struggle in Latin America. More than 350 top publishing and advertising executives, from more than 20 countries, attended the conference held in Mexico City from January 18th to the 20th.
Emilio Azcárraga, CEO of Grupo Televisa, says multimedia strategies can be profitable for publishing ventures. According to Azcárraga, the magazine Selecciones Reader's Digest has had success selling music and books to its subscriber base. He also mentioned Automovil Panamericano, published by Editorial Televisa, which broadcasts TV programs showcasing the magazine's content. Azcárraga, Televisa's number one executive, added that digital magazines are becoming increasingly popular among consumers – 40% of the subscribers to PC Magazine's (Ziff Davis) U.S. edition receive the digital version of the publication.
…a worldwide look at magazines' share of advertising…
Daniel Ripoll, president of FLAPP (Federación Latinoamericana de Prensa Periódica), reported the percentages of total ad sales going to magazine advertising in different countries. Interestingly, magazines in Germany and France get a two to three times larger share of their ad markets than do magazines in Spanish speaking countries (see box).
…and the Mexican market.
Andrzej Rattinger, CEO of Merca2.0, emphasized that the overall volume of the Mexican advertising market in 2003 was US $3,178 million. The share for TV was 58.1%, followed by newspapers (13.1% or US $416 million), radio (13%) and magazines (11% or US $344 million). According to Rattinger, last year a total of 483 Mexican magazine publishers had combined revenues of US $622 million (55.3% advertising, 33% circulation sales, 4.9% Services and 6.9% other).
Rattinger pointed out that marketers and ad agencies are looking for more reliable and audited data on magazine circulation, which will be increasingly important as newspapers step up the competition by offering low cost advertising opportunities in their weekly magazine inserts. Electronic media, including electronic games and the Internet are also vying for advertisers' money.
Enrique Cuevas, president of Reader's Digest Mexico, shared findings from a recent survey of readers with FIPP conference participants, highlighting that 70% of readers surveyed said that the ratio between editorial content and advertising was a determining factor in the decision to buy a magazine. 30% of readers cited “relevant information” as the main reason for brand loyalty. “Quality of information” (13%) and “advertising” (8%) were also named. Cuevas also spoke about the important changes happening in magazine distribution in Mexico. An increasing number of titles are competing at fewer and fewer points of sale. According to Cuevas, there are approximately 20,000 points-of-sale in Mexico distributing 2,000 magazine titles. 2,100 of these points-of-sale are retail stores in which magazines account for only 3 to 5% of overall sales.