JULY 30, 2012

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MPA Factbook -- Why Magazines Work
The Association of Magazine Media recently published its yearly factbook, and within it are a number of statistics that support magazines as an effective way to connect with consumers. Some of the more important points from the MPA: -Magazines promote action. 60% of print magazine readers took action as result of a magazine advertisement. That effect is amplified in digital magazines, as 91% of digital readers took action. -Magazine ads are less interruptive than ads in other media and because of that consumers are more receptive to ads in magazines. Magazines rate better than television and internet in ad attention / receptivity. -Heavy magazine readers tend to be influencers in a number of key categories. People defined as Category Influentials by GfK MRI in the automotive, finance, food, and vacation travel categories are more likely to be heavy users of magazines than of internet, television, radio and newspapers.
So what? This factbook is a useful reference tool for anyone at Condé Nast that has ever been asked if magazines continue to be important. There are a number of statistics throughout the deck that can be sprinkled into pitches and presentations to advertisers and business partners. Magazines continue to be a compelling way to advertise, and the MPA did a nice job of collecting data to help illustrate that.
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One Eye on the TV, and the Other on the Cell Phone
The Pew Research center published a report on the "Connected Viewer", last week. According to the study, the majority of US adults used their phones while watching television in the past month. Pew also found that 38% of cell owners use their phone to keep themselves occupied during commercials or breaks in something they were watching -- a data point that must, undoubtedly, startle a number of advertisers. While cell phones can be used as a distraction while watching television, Pew also found evidence that they are used to enhance the viewing experience for a number of people. One out of five people used their phone to see what people were saying online about a program; about the same number reported posting their own comments about that program.
So what? One of the distinct advantages for magazine advertisers is the sense that those consuming their ads chose that experience. Television advertisers are left to wonder if the viewer's attention is concentrated on their message or somewhere else. While TV advertisers once simply had to contend with bathroom breaks and runs to the fridge, they're now challenged with gaining the attention of a public that, increasingly, would rather engage with their cell phone than with commercials.
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Industry Viewpoints
Unlocking New Sources of Growth
This newsletter often mentions the importance of growth in new areas that are undeveloped, and may seem uncomfortable for some businesses. A recent paper from The Futures Company argues that the prolonged economic stagnation in the United States and Europe can be partly attributed to broken business models by organizations that have not heeded that message. The Futures Company outlines areas where it sees growth potential for new and improved business models: - New markets: Many segments in emerging markets have disposable income for the first time ever. Asia's economy could be larger than that of the US and European Union combined by 2030 by some forecasts. - Changing values: Social attitudes and behaviors are shifting and this creates an opportunity for new business initiatives. In the US, for example, car mileage hit a plateau in 2004 and has been lower since 2007 as people seek more efficient ways to commute. - Understanding new technologies: The problem for most businesses is identifying the right moment to invest in technologies. The Futures Company believes that organizations that efficiently track technology progress and conduct feasibility studies during the early adoption period are best prepared to take advantage of it.
So what? Condé Nast has lead the way in developing new revenue and distribution models, and in the exploration of developing markets. The successful organizations in the new economy will be the ones with continually evolving business models that can react nimbly to changing growth opportunities.
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Back-To-School Spending Expected to Grow
In a survey of 8,500 consumers aged 18+, the National Retail Federation found that Americans plan to spend more on back-to-school spending this year than at any time in the past 10 years. Adults with children between kindergarten and senior year of high school plan to spend an average of $689 on back-to-school items, up $85 over last year. College students and their families will spend an average of $907 to get ready to go back to school, an increase of $98 over last year. The NRF projects the entire back-to-school spend to reach $83.8 billion -- the second biggest consumer spending event of the year for retailers after the winter holidays. The majority of purchases will happen at discount and department stores, as Americans continue to put a premium on value.
So what? Back-to-school is an important time for a number of retailers and this should be welcome news for the majority of them. This research also serves as validation for any online publishers building back-to-school content. Not only have consumers indicated an increased willingness to spend this year, but they also plan to use the internet more to compare products and make purchases.
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Quick Takes
The Majority of Smartphones Purchased in Past Three Months Run by Android
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Republicans Make Gains Among Registered Voters of All Faiths Since 2008; Largest Gains Made Among Mormon and Jewish
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College Undergraduate Students Most Rely on Grants, Scholarships and their Parents to Pay for School
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June 2012 was the Driest Month in 56 Years; Sixth Driest Month on Record
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Condé Nast
Feedback, questions, ideas for future issues? Please contact:

Phil Paparella
Condé Nast Research & Insights | Associate Director
1166 6th Avenue, 14th fl. | NY, NY 10036 | office 212.790.6044 | philip_paparella@condenast.com

Tamar Rimmon | Senior Manager, Digital Analytics
Robyn Hightower | Manager, Research & Insights