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What role does print play within the media industry’s subscription economy? That’s the question media companies are facing today. 

The answer may come as a surprise to many. Contrary to popular belief, print isn’t anywhere near dead. This is particularly true within the magazine sector. Claims about digital’s vast potential versus print’s poor prospects aren’t necessarily much ado about nothing. The reality, however? The print media landscape isn’t nearly as dire as headlines like to paint it.

There’s no denying that digital media has risen to the forefront in recent years. But digital’s prominence doesn’t mean publishers should place print by the wayside. This article takes a look at the current state of print magazine subscriptions and why publishers shouldn’t hesitate to dive into print. It also explores how media businesses can use one subscription management tool to take care of both their print and digital needs.

Magazines continue to perform well

Despite the doom and gloom for print that’s forecasted every year, print magazines, unlike newspapers, continue to hold their own. For example, in the US, the number of magazine readers has stayed consistently above the 220 million mark each year from 2016 to 2020, according to Statistica. 

The future also looks rosy for magazines. The global magazine market is projected to grow by USD 3.43 billion by the year 2025. “The print segment will generate maximum revenue in the magazine publishing market, owing to the rising number of magazine readers,” says Technavio’s latest market report on magazine publishing.

Why publishers shouldn’t forget magazines

With magazines continuing to stay strong, print offers media companies prime profit potential. “While monetization models are maturing, the power of print magazines to maintain a solid revenue base is vitally important,” says Chris Coward, Management Consultant & Publisher.

Here are several reasons why publishers shouldn’t turn their backs on magazines, according to the 2021 Magazine Media Factbook.

  • The effect of the pandemic. More readers engaged with magazines during the Covid-19 pandemic, with 76% saying reading magazines was a good break from staring at their screens. Another 68% expressed a deeper appreciation for print magazines during this trying time.

  • Readers trust magazines. Readers feel magazines are more credible and more trustworthy than both television and websites. Sixty-eight percent of readers agreed they could rely on the material curated by magazine journalists and editors. 

  • Subscriptions dominate the print market. In comparison to single copies, during the period surveyed, 95% of print sales came from total paid subscriptions, with another 3% coming from verified subscriptions. 

  • Print offers “touch and feel”. The culture of the glossy magazine is still top of mind for readers, who value the touch and feel of print magazines more than ever before. Going beyond this touch and feel aspect, magazines also retain their value, with an average pass-along rate of six readers per copy.

  • The power of print advertising. Magazine ads and inserts offer publishers the high marketing value provided by print advertising. This is a value not seen with digital ads. For example, 68% of magazine readers take some form of action as a result of seeing print advertising. And when it comes to growing consumer awareness, magazine ads consistently outperform digital ads.

The hesitancy to embrace print

The outlook for the print magazine market is bright. Why, then, are many publishers still focusing more heavily on digital media, and essentially turning their backs on print? 

The problem might not be due to publishers’ hesitancy. Publishers eager to dive more fully into the print magazine market often find themselves facing additional costs in fulfilling print orders. Why? Many subscription management tools focus solely on digital provision and fulfillment. 

Publishers feel they lack the tech support necessary to take advantage of the potential that print offers. It’s not surprising, then, that many publishers are staying away from a more heavy involvement in the print market. 

With Amplio, publishers can manage both print and digital

What do publishers wishing to increase their focus on print need? A management tool that lets them take advantage of both print and digital subscriptions. Amplio, Lineup Systems’ subscription management software, offers the optimal solution. 

Built specifically with media companies in mind, Amplio provides recurring revenue features capable of handling both print and digital subscription scenarios. With Amplio, publishers can position themselves to profit from both print and digital products, all while leveraging a revenue strategy that combines subscription-based and advertising-based revenue models.

Let Amplio boost your subscription monetization strategy

The print magazine market presents profit opportunities that media companies today can’t afford to overlook. Are you worried about your subscription software’s ability to support an increased focus on print? It’s time to take a look at what Lineup’s Amplio can do. Schedule a call with us today, and see how Amplio can manage both your print and digital subscriptions.


Lineup Systems is the world's leading provider of media sales technology, representing over 6,800 media brands globally, including Gannett/USA Today, New York Times and News Corp. Amplio is Lineup's multi- channel audience monetization solution that helps media companies realize their full reader revenue potential, using data-driven intelligence to engage, nurture and monetize readers with personalized offers that increase reader revenue and reduce churn. Adpoint is Lineup's end-to-end multi-channel media advertising sales solution that helps media companies streamline operations, make better use of data, increase efficiency and boost revenue.