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State of the Media Report 2012: Rebecca Bredholt

Rebecca Bredholt

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The iPad proved to be a magazine “savior” and not the “killer” many predicted it would be in 2011, noted Rebecca Bredholt, managing editor of magazine content at Vocus Media Research Group. In an interview discussing her analysis from the Vocus State of the Media Report 2012, Bredholt dished on social media, iPads and more.

When the iPad first came out, many thought it would ultimately lead to magazines’ demise. Conversely readers showed they were more than willing to pay for curated content on tablet form, Bredholt noted.

While print magazines invested in apps for the iPad, other publishers were launching magazines designed solely for the tablet. This included Nomad Magazines, which produces titles on topics ranging from surfing to family vacations. Since these magazines are laid out only in an electronic format, editors don’t have to consider the print element, noted Bredholt. “It allows them to think of their content as dynamic, and not have to worry about a print form or how it would look in print, what the measurements are. They are only working in one medium, so it’s allowing them to be more creative,” she said. “Once you go digital, the limits are gone that you would normally have. So you can get as creative as you want to be. You can get as localized as you want to be.”

Almost 50 percent of magazines have some form of a Twitter handle or Facebook page, a significant change from previous years, noted Bredholt. Considering that social media exists in a digital realm, it’s important and ironic to note Social Media Monthly magazine launched in print in 2011. This was a direct challenge to the popular belief that print is out. In reality, Bredholt noted, there is plenty of room for new titles in the print landscape. New magazines that launched in 2011 tended to be local. National magazines like HGTV and Food Network Magazine were able to buck the trend because they are backed by major television networks.

“So magazines are in print, yes, but people should stop thinking of them as a print product, start thinking of them as a brand and what that brand represents,” she said. As we push into February, print and online will continue this theme of cooperation, noted Bredholt. “You’re going to see a lot of sharing when it comes to editors, footage, editorial content, when it comes to online outlets and magazines, and sometimes even video content will be shared as well,” she said.

For the full report or more highlights from Bredholt, check out the Vocus blog. Stay tuned for more highlights this week.

— Katrina M. Mendolera

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