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Trade and Professional - Natalie

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 11 months ago

 

Natalie Chillington

MC549

Assessment One

 

A Report on the Trade and Professional Magazine Sector:

 How Are They Experimenting with New Media Forms of Distribution?

Introduction

 

The magazine industry is inevitably changing. We still consider a 'magazine' to be just a collection of pages you can only physically buy from a shop, when actually the word means a whole lot more. Many significant developments in this global industry that have taken place over recent years. I intend to analyse magazine websites in the Trade and Professional sector and their use of new media forms of distribution.

 

A Review of Website Features in Trade and Professional Publications

 

Firstly, it is important to note that nearly all of these magazines are free to professionals who qualify. Therefore, I am particularly interested in how each publication makes money. As well as new media features, I will also look at how often the magazine is published, circulation figures and privacy policies whilst considering the target audience. As conventional features start to become obvious, I will bullet point these when necessary and focus on the new features I come across.

 

Architectural Digest - www.architecturaldigest.com/

 

Publisher - CondeNet

Frequency - monthly

Circulation - 846,997 average for six months ending 6/30/2007 (www.accessabc.com)

Privacy policy - CondeNet may share subscribers email adresses and sell or share all other information with affiliates.

 

The Architectural Digest is the only magazine I have analysed which is not available on free subscription. Perhaps consequently, there are far fewer advertisements on this site than on any other I have analysed, but none-the-less they still make an appearance. These will catch the eye of users, probably unaware that their taste of jewellery has been pre-judged based on the information they gave when registering. To assist you around the site, a search engine is provided which is helpful and saves time. There is a slideshow which is shown below advertising the E-Newsletter with eight different images. This runs continuously, but you can interact with the site by clicking any of the numbers and pause on a particular image for a moment. "...the point of newsletters is that their 'unprofessional' production and appearance provides an aura of authenticity, of 'unvarnished truth', that is attractive to some readers." (Morrish, 2003)

   (www.architecturaldigest.com/)

 

 

From the toolbar you can access a library of videos containing interviews with architects and designers. Visitors can contribute their thoughts and share their opinions to forums or even contact the publishers directly by filling out a form on the site. Past issues can be browsed online and a vast directory of architects and designers can be searched with links to pages containing RSS Feeds i.e. add to MY YAHOO, Google and bloglines, so the user can stay up-to-date. There are links to many shopping sites which are accompanied by slideshows of endless products. Registering with the site enables you to post messages on the forum and add comments to the blogs. Finally, the site contains a media kit which provides information for potential advertisers.

 

CE Pro - www.cepro.com/

 

Publisher - E H Publishing

Frequency - monthly

Circulation - 50,000 BPA audited (www.ehpub.com)

Audience - professionals who specify, sell, install and support technology-related products for residential and light commercial customers

Privacy policy - E H Publishing Inc tracks domains and anonymous demographic data for the purposes of analysing trends and statistics

 

This sites main feature is a product database of more than 50,000 items that can be searched via a product finder shown below.

 

(www.cepro.com/)

 

There are also dozens of links to manufacturers too. You can post messages in the Career Centre and 'Community' section on a wall for all to read. Registering on the site enables you to use all the tools, download white papers, business documents, post comments and track your conversations. Subscription to the published magazine, a digital version, online newsletter, news alerts and RSS Feeds are available. A few advertisements are scattered around and there is a large number of sponsored links situated at the bottom of the main page. An input/output poll encourages users to interact with the site, whilst slideshows present images, presentations and event coverage. Again, you can cotact CE Pro staff directly via email and the site encourages potential advertisers to download their media kit. Finally, webinars in the form of downloadable PowerPoint files are available

 

Equipment World - www.equipmentworld.com/

 

Publisher - Randall - Reilly Publishing Company

Frequency - monthly

Circulation - 80,300 BPA audited (www.randallpub.com)

 

A reoccurring feature I am finding is the inclusion of advertisements, which is not at all surprising. There are a significant number on this site, all obviously related to the construction industry. Again, there is a 'search our site' option. The Media Centre includes a Media Kit with downloadable PDF, an Advertise With Us option and EDA data. There are a number of sponsored links and a complete online guide of products which can be ordered online. Another convention that is reappearing is the ability to contact staff directly via email. I think the most significant feature on this website, which makes it different from the others I have looked at is the option shown below;

 

(http://www.equipmentworld.com/apps/news/articleeqw.asp?id=63617)

 

FOH magazine - www.fohonline.com

 

Publisher - Timeless Communications

 

Conventional features;

 

  • advertisements - including 'Ads by Google'

  • links

  • search engine

  • log in/register option

  • subscibe option

  • past issues

 

In the Webtools section of FOH's site, you can submit an advert or a link and download a media kit if you wish. There is also a Community section containing blogs and a forum like the example shown below. These allow readers to interact with the site, and share their thoughts with other fellow readers about the magazine and/or website topics.

.

 

 (http://www.fohonline.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=1&sid=06502ddd75608383e4b0e4b3d5ea139d)

 

ISC Cleaning Specialist - www.icsmag.com/

 

Publisher - BNP Media

Frequency - monthly

Privacy policy - occasionally they may release data that subscribers provide to third parties that wish to market products/services that may be of interest to the consumer.

 

  • login

  • search engine

  • subscribe

  • products

  • media kit

  • contacts

  • digital edition of ICS (e-zine)

  • past issues

 

ICS provides webinars (web broadcasts) free of charge for users to enrol on. What I think is more significant is the use of several different RSS feeds which are explained well here. This is really giving the reader freedom of choice, but is this more convenient than a paper version you can hold in your hands?

 

 (http://www.icsmag.com/feeds)

 

Live Sound International - www.livesoundint.com

 

Publisher - E H Publishing

Frequency - monthly

Circulation - 28,000 BPA audited (www.ehpub.com)

Audience - audio professionals

Privacy policy - the demographic information gathered during the log-in process is utililised to generate advertising revenue, i.e. demographic information is used to describe the average visitor in an attempt to encourage manufacturers to utilise the site for advertising purposes. (www.livesoundint.com/privacy.php)

 

  • past issues
  • subscribe to magazine
  • search engine
  • links

 

The media kit on Live Sound Int (http://www.livesoundint.com/mediakit/) emphasises how highly rated the magazine is in order to attract potential advertisers. It states that the magazine delivers to 28, 050 subscribers in 100 countries. Also says that their extended online community, Pro Sound Web boasts 2 million views every month. The site also provides the opportunity for visitors to subscribe to an electronic version of the paper edition in a non-PDF format for free as shown below. You can choose which edition you want to look at, use a scroll down menu as a contents page or just click on which ever page you want.

 

 

 

 (http://es1.tecnavia.com/ee/livesound/demo.php)

 

Mailing Systems Technology - www.mailingsystemtechnology.com

 

Publisher - R B Publishing Inc

 

Conventional features;

  • links to sponsors websites
  • shopping
  • log in/register option
  • search engine
  • contacts
  • past issues
  • blogs
  • postings
  • advertise with us option
  • subscribe - the option offers discounts for MST seminars, conferences and webcasts which is a way of atracting new readers using new media features.

 

 

There is a video clip of a woman informing the reader of new information which automatically plays when you enter the site and when you click on a new page. This gives the website a human touch, personalising your visit and gives you no other choice but to watch, listen and learn. The user is also presented with a poll question (shown below) presented in a bright yellow box which encourages them to interact with the site. 

 

www.mailingsystemtechnology.com)

 

There is a page on the history of the magazine, which states that the website was created in 2000. This year an electronic newsletter began which provides monthly updates on products and service offerings to the industry. The company is now focussing on providing information in any way the consumer could possibly want and as a result, will be conducting webcasts, live broadcasts of industry events aswel as podcasts. A digital version of MST will also be made available.

 

Pet Style News - www.petstylenews.com

 

Publisher - Pet Product News International

Frequency - bi-monthly

Eligibility - USA and Canada

 

Conventional features;

 

  • subscribe
  • advertisements
  • advertise with us option

 

I consider this site to be the least interactive and therefore rather dull. There are a couple of video clips that bring this site to life for a few moments, but that is as exciting as it gets. The main focus of this site is the promotion of products, therefore I have shown the site's use of links as an example of a new media feature that has been used. There is very little other content worth commenting on.

 

 

 (http://www.petstylenews.com/products/default.aspx)

 

 

Snips - www.snipsmag.com

 

Publisher - BNP Media

Frequency - monthly

Privacy policy - occasionally they may release data that subscribers provide to third parties that wish to market products/services that may be of interest to the consumer.

 

Conventional features; 

 

  • search engine 
  • past issues
  • shopping
  • contacts
  • media kit
  • blog

 

A floating advert immediately appears right infront of the user encouraging them to subscibe straight away when they enter the site. Other advertisements are animated or flashing to catch attention. The digital edition of the magazine is advertised in an attractive manner. The pages of the animated magazine are flicking continuously, teasing the reader with is contents too small to actually read unless subscribed to. This, together with a blog and numerous RSS Feed tabs positioned throughout the site, makes this quite an interactive. But for the user to take real advantage of all these new media features, they need to login in (example shown below) which requires registering. 

 

 

 

 

 (www.snipsmag.com)

 

 

Total Landscape - www.totallandscapecare.net

 

Publisher - Randall - Reilly Publishing Company

 

Conventional features;

 

  • subscribe

  • search engine

  • sponsored links
  • contacts

 

This site has many animated advertisements and a link that makes totallandcapecare.net your homepage. The most interactive feature on this site is the media centre shown below. It allows you to download the Total Landscape Care Media Kit as a PDF, apply to advertise with them and finally, view a BPA statement. All of these options are presented on a different slide, accessed from the tabs along the top. 

 

 (www.totallandscapecare.net)

 

Uniforms - www.uniformsmag.com

 

Publisher - Advertising Speciality Institute

 

Conventional features;

 

  • google search engine
  • advertisements
  • advertise with us option
  • contacts
  • past issues

 

There is nothing that really stands out on this site, although a poll similar to the one used by Mailing Systems Technology is presented to the reader on the main page. The most interactive feaures on this site, advertised under, 'Extras' as 'Exclusive Online Content' are several Podcasts shown below. These can be played and paused at the users convenience.

 

(http://uniformsmag.com/extras/podcasts.htm)

 

 

Sound & Communications - www.soundandcommunications.com

 

Publisher - Testa Communications

Frequency - monthly

Circulation - 25,000 (www.testa.com)

Audience - system integrators, contractors and consultants

Privacy policy - users information may be shared with advertisement and third party vendors for marketing purposes. (www.soundandcommunications.com/policy)

 

Conventional features;

 

  • RSS News Feed

  • links
  • eNewsletter
  • past issues

 

This site is surprisingly lacking in advertisements and new media features, particularly considering it is a Sound and Communications magazine site. There is one link to another site containing related video clips. I did find one page that was quite interactive and contained flash videos (one is shown below) but they didn't seem very user friendly and rather more complicated to download than compared to other sites I have looked at.

 

 

(http://www.soundandcommunications.com/infocommTVnews/)

 

Conclusions

 

As I mentioned before, most of these magazines are free of charge and therefore rely heavily on advertising revenue. "Put bluntly, magazine publishers sell readers to advertisers." (Morrish, 2003) The advertisements which appear on these sites have been carefully chosen in order to appeal to the average visitor to the site. This became clear after studying the privacy policy of several sites, all of which descibed the same technique of collecting customers data and selling/sharing it to third parties in order for advertisers to target consumers more effectively. Sites such as CE Pro also feature 'sponsored' links which generate revenue for the company. The ability to use animated advertisements on magazine sites as oppose to static images you find in physical magazines has proven a huge profit-maker. So much so, that, "Ads in magazines that come alive and talk to you - like a tv commercial - as you turn the pages may be the next big advance in off - beat advertising." (Blyth 2007) For publishers to go to such extreme lengths as to include moving imagery in traditional magazines, reflects the money such new media features can generate and perhaps the pressure for magazines to change in order to keep up with other advances like I have studied. Blyth also rightly asked the vital question, "How will readers respond?" I personally find magazines already contain too many advertisements and would find moving imagery even more uneccessary and distracting and would therefore hope that the industry would also still continue to provide traditonal magazines. Although most of these magazines are free of charge, this is only to qualified professionals, so the magazines are still making money from people who do not qualify and therefore have to pay for their subscription, but I would imagine they are in the minority.

 

Recent developments in the magazine industry have obviously had a major impact on the way we now consume magazines.  Whether or not these changes have been a good thing, I feel it is important that the industry doesn't ignore quality for the sake of quantity and profit.

What is needed, whether it comes from research or eleswhere is something that reminds advertisers and media that consumers are using alot of different media forms, and one doesn't become irrelevant because a new one comes along. Magazine brands are aggressively creating digital opportunities, and while we know those are valued by advertisers, we want to be a mult-platform brand company, and magazines are still an important touchpoint between consumers and brands.

(Frank, 2007)

 

Nevertheless, Trade and Professional magazines have certainly become more accessible due to new media forms of distribution. Professionals can consume useful information in the form of webcasts, slideshows etc whilst sitting at their desk at work.

 

Bibliography

 

Quote from Blyth, Jeffrey: Press Gazette (2007) Time Inc mulls animated ads in magazines found at http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=39039&c=1

Quote from Frank, Betsy: JackMyers.com (2007) The Newest Medium Around found at http://www.jackmyers.com/commentary/media-business-report/9834192.html

Morrish, John (2nd Ed.) (2003) Magazine Editing . Routledge

 

 

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