ARTICLE

Tapping into new magazine potential

Programmatic print optimises reader engagement

Woman reading a magazine

Is it time to give up on print?

Caslon, a market research company specialising in digital printing applications forecasts: “Declining circulation is a direct result of end users preferring lower cost online sources of information and a shift in leisure time activities toward mobile and online.” 1

Is print dead in the magazine market? The answer is: Certainly not, but print has to change.

“It’s also encouraging to see innovation still happening in print…. Print is still an incredibly important element in most media businesses portfolios and it’s great to see that a 700-year old industry can still be innovative.” 2

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New strategies for print

While the revenue mix is changing towards online channels, the printed magazine is still a main revenue contributor for magazine publishers. For example in Germany, print circulation and advertising still make up 55% of publishers’ revenues. 3


Growth is expected to come from mobile and online services, new advertising concepts and diversification. Publishers are successfully implementing diversification strategies to reduce their dependency on printed magazines. But with latest digital printing technology developments, these strategies can also be expanded for print.

Technology brings new opportunities

With the latest advancements in high speed inkjet technologies and automated workflows, smart data, targeted or even super personalized content is now also possible in print, regardless of the size of the reader base.

According to SGIA, “advances in digital printing are creating new opportunities for magazine publishers to take advantage of rich audience data to enable more customized and targeted print publications and marketing offerings.”

“Powered by data, digital printing offers publishers the ability to affordably create new types of publication products and direct mail that incorporate highly targeted images and messages.” 4

Magazine printed programmatically

Programmatic advertising

While programmatic advertising has been an established channel in online marketing for years, it is now viable for print. But, what is programmatic advertising?

According to Searchify, it “is a highly automated form of digital advertising, whereby advertising space is bought and advertisements are placed through an auction across campaigns from a large number of advertising platforms, and where bids are calculated in real time per individual ad placement.” 5

Print goes programmatic

Those concepts that have made programmatic advertising successful can now also be applied to print. Industrial scale, variable data printing allows magazine publishers to create new strategies to integrate print into the omnichannel. So the strategy for success is not to reduce the dependency on print, but rather to leverage the advantages of print in the omnichannel to optimize reader engagement.

Digital printing is a technology that can build the bridge!


Written by Cathy Bittner
Business Development Manager, Canon Europe

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1. Caslon: Western Europe and North America production Digital Printing – Color and Monochrome Market Forecast, June 2018
2. John Hewes, President & CEO FIPP, in: Innovation in Magazine Media 2018-2019 World Report
3. VDZ Jahrespressekonferenz 2018, http://www.vdz.de/branche/branchendaten
4. SGIA: How Magazine Publishers are Using Digital Printing to Enhance Print Products, 2018
5. Searchify: What is programmatic advertising: https://www.searchify.ca/what-is-programmatic-advertising/ , accessed June 19, 2017