11 Things You Need to Know About Custom Media

  1. Custom media (sometimes called branded media or custom publishing) is media (e.g. a magazine/ blog/ podcast) produced by a business as a means of communicating to its customers. It broadly shares the look and feel of mainstream media (e.g. a magazine you’d buy on the newsstand) but is paid for in part or whole by a business.
  2. Consumers are turning to brands for information and entertainment as they feel the pinch, underlined by Sense Magazine topping the News & Current Affairs: Business & Finance sector, ahead of The Economist in latest circulation numbers. John Lewis Edition and ASOS.com continue to dominate the Women’s Lifestyle/Fashion sector as consumers enjoy engaging editorial combined with brand messages.
  3. 10 out of the top 20 highest circulating magazines in the UK are custom magazines.
  4. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of customer titles in the Top 100 are new entries or have increased year on year circulation demonstrating the ongoing growth in the sector. Latest entries include Virgin Media’s electric!, BM by Bonmarché and Harrods Magazine.
  5. The most popular publishing frequency is quarterly.
  6. Despite the recession publications have not been trimmed demonstrating brands’ commitment to engaging content. Pagination has either stayed the same or increased for 75% of magazines. The average pagination is between 31 and 48 pages.
  7. Post continues to be the most widely used method of distribution at just under 60%. This is a substantial increase on 2007 figures, which showed that post was only used by a third of titles. In-store distribution (12%) is the second most popular distribution method.
  8. 27% of consumers have a higher propensity to buy online if the website offers more than product listings which highlights the importance of good branded online content.
  9. A third of website based content is updated daily, indicating marketer’s commitment to keeping content fresh and up-to-date. This also reflects findings from APA commissioned YouGov research in 2010, which showed that consumers wanted new content daily from their favourite brands.
  10. Email is being used very selectively with 60% of brands sending out no more than six content-driven emails per year.
  11. The most common e-zine frequency is 3-5 times per year.

Source: APA Mintel Report 2011 and YouGov Study 2010.


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