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Latest magazine trends

Much like print, there seems to be a localization of magazines going on with five out of the 13 magazine launches in the third quarter being regionally-based. Q3 saw the debut of Our Wisconsin, Washingtonian Mom, Dayton Parent Magazine, Dayton Magazine and Wichita Magazine. But an uptick in regional-interest magazines isn’t the only theme of the quarter. Here are a few of the latest magazine trends and happenings:

  • The New Yorker began experimenting with sponsored content in August and ran an ad called the Five Steps to Building a Better Cloud written by IBM engineer Frank De Gilio. DigiDay gave a full analysis of the magazine’s use of native advertising last month. Only last week, the New York Times reported that Harper’s Bazaar is also going native with a site redesign. The new look includes an editorial feature called #TheList, which highlights top trends. Advertisers who sponsor the feature get their products placed in the #TheList, with a link back to the product website and a digital banner ad. Then on Saturday, the advertiser is able to sponsor an edition of the feature that includes only their products.
  • Sports Illustrated recently erected a new kind of paywall, a hybrid system that allows visitors to view articles from the print edition before the magazine is released. But to view the content, the reader has to first watch a 30-second advertisement. The provider is Selectable Media and has only applied the experiment to various stories available to paying subscribers, AdWeek reported. Viewers actually get to choose what ad they want to watch before it unlocks the article for a 24-hour period. Esquire also got into the paywall business in July when it put its The Prophet feature behind a paywall for $1.99.
  • In August, Conde Nast entered into a partnership with Amazon, which now handles the magazine publisher’s subscriptions for magazines such as Vogue, Wired and Vanity Fair.
  • Finally, it’s only a rumor still, but there have been whispers that New York Magazine is considering going biweekly in 2014. According to, digital accounts for half the magazine’s revenue.

While trends in native advertising, paywalls and locally-focused news mirror elements of the newspaper industry, the magazine industry often has its own take on experimentation. As we roll through Q4 and head into the New Year, it’s most likely that native advertising will dominate as a trend as magazines struggle to bring back ad revenue.

–Katrina M. Mendolera


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