DOOH offers magazines a life line


In a difficult economic environment, magazine publishers have started turning to Digital Out of Home (DOOH) for new revenue opportunities. With promotions on video advertising networks, self service kiosks and ad sales, traditional print advertising companies are exploring how to use DOOH to broaden their reach.

Video Ad Networks
Time and again, Video Advertising Networks have proven to have a direct impact on magazine sales.  Conde Nast reported a 24% and 53% sales lift in Trofie airport stores that featured video advertising network, Danoo. Bon Appetit Magazine also had great results using PRN’s CheckoutTV the past two summers with its “The Next Food Network Star” Summer BBQ promotions. And now, as part of its six-month commitment with Titan Outdoors digital posters, the high end magazine Wallpaper will be featuring photography from each month’s issue across 50 London locations.

Self Service Digital Kiosks
With dwindling readership, publishers are finding ways to add value for their current print advertisers. Starting next month a new “digital newsstand” will be available at several Starwood Hotels. Full digital versions of magazines, including ads, can be downloaded from guest rooms and at lobby kiosks. U.S. News & World Report,Field & Stream, Golf Fitness Magazine, Macworld, PC World, Ski Magazine, Spa Magazine, Working Mother and several other domestic and international single issue publications can be read for free from the Starwood branded service. Zinio, the digital and interactive publishing company partnering with Starwood, estimates the audience reach between three and five million impressions within the first year.

Ad Sales
Two magazine companies have announced this month that they will expand their sales offerings into DOOH networks. According to Digital Signage Insights, Car & Driver/Road & Track magazines (US) will extend AutoNetTV�s sales force of ad network in over 5,000 waiting rooms of automotive service centers. And Alive Magazine (Canada)  will provide editorial content and ad sales for Canadian grocery network which manages Whole Foods and other natural health retail stores. These partnerships between the publishers and the networks feel like a natural evolution to both media channels.In an interview with MastheadOnline, Alex Karch, marketing manager at Alive said, “print has to become more competitive and you have to be multi-layered.” He says, “You have to get readers in print, you have to get them at point of purchase, you have to get them online. It’s a multi-tiered, competitive environment. The publishers that recognize that and step up to the challenges of 2009 are the ones that are still going to be around in 2010.”

DOOH does not come without its challenges for the print industry. Traditionally the media planners and buyers who purchase print campaigns do not handle digital buys. And digital strategy, budgets, and assets are often managed by separate companies or divisions. As Digital Signage Insights points out, “the advertising sales reps from the print side must receive in depth training on digital signage and the myriad of opportunities it offers advertisers. To best sell the medium, these ad sales reps must understand the technology, operational framework, content strategies, and key advantages of digital signage. Just as they have had to learn the ins and outs of selling online advertising, so too will they need to entrench themselves in the world of digital out of home media.”

Digital out of home may not be able to rescue the print business single-handedly, but it does offer an exciting potential to extend readership through digital distribution.