Marcus Rich, CEO Time Inc. UK, explains why print is so impactful

Submitted by: Jess Taylor 16/01/2017

Marcus Rich discusses why print is the perfect medium for engagement and impact especially in regards to native advertising.

Maracus Rich

Does print have a key role to play in the internet age?

Absolutely. We need to demystify some of the stats because the print newsstand market in the UK is actually in growth. There are some changes in the construct of that – there’s some higher cover-price monthlies that are driving retail sales value, for instance – but what’s happening is that print products are fulfilling different roles in people’s passions over time. We’re clearly seeing growth at the older and upper end of the market. If you take a magazine like Country Life, it’s consistently grown its newsstand sales figures over the last five years.

What can print offer that digital can’t?

One major thing is the collectible element of print. It’s harder to collate and collect stuff which provides you not just with entertainment but information that you return to on a regular basis. A really good example of that is TV listings. The technology for finding out what’s on television has been around a long time, but nothing performs like print in enabling you to analyse, enjoy, mark up and return to in order to consider the information on a daily basis, as proven by the robustness of TV listings in newspapers. Print is simply a platform that cannot be replicated in the new digital age for that content.

Where do you see the other growth areas for print publishing?

I’ve just been looking at a report that says native advertising will drive 70% of all ad revenue by 2021, and print is ideal for that. You can place advertising on television but you can’t get the person who then comes on the screen in the television programme to talk about your product in the context that you want to see it. You can place advertising in radio and even have presenters talk about it, but you can’t immerse it in the same way that print has been doing for ages. Advertisers want a deeper engagement now, which means a real empathy for the content and the commercial messages, and they want to be able to tell their story across all platforms. So I think that the shift from traditional display to native advertising is a real opportunity for print publishers.

Last year you helped set up Magnetic, the marketing agency for magazines. Do you see that offering better results for advertisers?

Yes. I think the phenomenon that’s really interesting is that you look at the left-hand side and say print is in decline, circulation figures are down. But if you look at the overall reach of the brands that emanate from print, it’s never been bigger. So, what we’re saying is that it’s not about platform, it’s about content. The content we produce has never been more relevant and more important, and as an advertiser we can actively engage in delivering that content and delivering native content so you can achieve the journey right the way from social through to say, an experiential at the end, like the NME awards. There’s a guarantee that you’re partnering with an organisation that can deliver exactly the same quality of content and therefore suit the same level of trust whatever platform the content is on.