When the internet and blogs took off, TV magazine subscriptions decreased, and most newspaper publishers have either scraped the TV magazine all together or have increased the rate for all subscribers to offset printing costs and send a bundled package. NTVB Media, publisher of TV Guide and TV Weekly magazine, thinks this is a mistake.
A recent whitepaper produced by NTVB Media revealed that the average newspaper consumer watches five hours and four minutes of television per day and has at least 194 channels (basic cable) to choose from.
The study also states that there has been an increase in interest in TV magazines. In large part this is due to the amount of programming available. In the fall of 2009, there were just 87 new scripted cable series, and in fall 2017, more than 500 scripted shows were available to watch. Another reason for growing interest in the niche magazines is the audience it serves: primarily Baby Boomers. The whitepaper states that Baby Boomers watch more TV than any other age group, averaging 174 hours per month, and are avid readers of newspapers. According to the whitepaper, the Association of Magazine Media reports that 91 percent of U.S. adults read magazines.
Working with the Pew Research Center and multiple newspapers, Dan Criscenti, NTVB vice president of digital strategy, led the research. He said he decided to study the growing niche and its impact on newspapers because he wanted to get a handle on the pros and cons newspaper publishers were weighing.
“Newspapers are looking for solutions for these growing interests in TV magazines and we want to help the newspaper business generate more revenue by finding loyal subscribers,” he said.
Michael Keever, NTVB Media senior vice president and chief marketing officer, believes newspapers run into danger when they increase subscription fees for all of their subscribers when the majority of TV magazines get tossed out. In fact, this leads to some consumers cancelling their newspaper subscriptions all together because of the uptick in costs for an additional product they won’t use. But when a quality product like TV Weekly is made available at a separate cost, consumers are more likely to keep their newspaper subscriptions. NTVB Media launched TV Weekly in partnership with more than 200 U.S. newspapers and has consistently seen the buy-in rate for its magazines at between 5 to 14 percent, according to the whitepaper.
“We focus on our content in the magazines rather than just show listings, and when you put all of your focus on something, it tends to be a quality product,” Keever said.
To learn more, visit ntvbmedia.com/newspapers-guide-to-tv-magazines.