magazine subscription sales

Australian magazine subscription sales growth and resilience in 2021

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Looking for solid evidence that the magazine market is experiencing a resurgence? Look no further than isubscribe’s recent sales data. 

In July, isubscribe.com.au reached $1 million in new subscription revenue, signifying record July sales figures since the magazine subscription business launched in 2000. Founder Andrew Burge congratulated the team on LinkedIn. 

I caught up with isubscribe’s Managing Director Hunter Drinian to chat about the positive impact COVID-19 has had on magazine sales and the main subscription sales drivers on isubscribe’s platform.  

isubscribe MD Hunter Drinian.

Lyndsle Clark: What sales patterns have you seen on isubscribe since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Hunter Drinian: The impact of COVID-19 overall has resulted in an uplift in magazine subscription sales on isubscribe.com.au. We’re seeing similar patterns in 2021 compared with 2020, particularly due to restrictions and lockdowns in NSW and VIC. While the best-selling magazine brands continue to do well, particularly home and garden and kids magazines, ‘niche’ magazines continue to grow their volumes across different categories. For example, Money magazine, Homespun, Dare, and regional lifestyle titles, Graziher and Ruth, have all achieved fantastic growth year-on-year (YoY) for 2021 and 2020.

LC: Drilling down on sales data, is there long-term evidence that consumers are turning to print magazines in 2021?

HD: The evidence people are turning to print magazines during lockdown is best assessed when looking at 2021 and 2020 sales compared with 2019. For the first half of 2021, the retail and consumer conditions were more similar to those of 2019 than 2020. When we’ve reviewed sales data looking at 2021 compared with 2019, the results are showing strong growth across nearly all categories. There have been some shocks along the way that have disrupted performance, such as the sale of Bauer and subsequent closure of some well-known magazine brands. We’re already seeing the seeds of recovery however with for example, Women’s Health and Men’s Health are back in the top positions in the health and fitness category on isubscribe after their relaunches earlier this year. Harper’s Bazaar magazine is set to relaunch soon as well.

LC: What marketing activities does isubscribe.com.au undertake to promote the subscriptions on your platform? 

HD: We do a range of online marketing to reach new audiences for magazine subscriptions such as paid search and social media marketing. Our database is a strong channel for us as well with 400,000 opt-in subscribers. We focus our efforts particularly around gift-giving periods as these are the peak sales periods for magazine subscriptions on isubscribe.com.au e.g. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Christmas. About 50 per cent of our business can be attributed to gift sales.

For more information on isubscribe, visit its Publishers page.

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