There was a time (or was there?) when magazines expected to generate reader loyalty by the quality of their content.That, apparently,is not enough. According to a story
, the U.S. division of Hachette Filipacchi is considering following the lead of its UK counterpart in developing "reader loyalty clubs" to increase audiences and revenue.
"As we think about our business model and our role in the future, we see it migrating from just a media company to be a media and servicing company to our consumers'" says HFMUS COO Phillippe Guelton. We want to identify their interests and their needs and to better answer those needs beyond the magazine or Web site or even a mobile application.”
Subscribers would be rewarded with access to film tickets, discounted products and preferred access. This is already done in Canada by such publishers as the Globe and Mail which offers front of the line access to shows and performances.
Many such arrangements are done in collaboration with retailers, promoters and manufacturers and it is hard to see how this won't further blur the line between content and promotion. Where once mainstream magazines were in the business of renting reader access to advertisers, now the necessity in the minds of some big brains in the business is to sell products and differentiate between readers who buy the deal and those who buy the stories. (Of course it was similar big brains who thought it was a good idea to move Jay Leno to 10 p.m.).
I'd be interested to hear about this (can I call it a trend?) from magazine people who like the idea and perhaps already do something similar, and (of course) from those who don't like it. Click on the word "comments" below.
Labels: promotion, readership