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Susan Russ, Senior Vice President, Communications, MPA: The Association of Magazine Media, Talks About Why Magazines And Magazine Media Matters At The Opening Of The ACT 7 Experience…Linda Ruth Reporting From ACT 7 Experience…

April 26, 2017

Susan Russ talks about why magazines & magazine media matters in this digital age

Eight years ago, when Dr. Samir Husni started the Magazine Innovation Center, everyone thought he’d gone crazy. With print media seemingly withering on the vine and digital moving in to devour its sad remains, print appeared to be the last candidate for innovation.

Yet 2017 is the year of the magazine. While the most successful magazines exist cross-platform, print remains a living, breathing, and in fact indispensable part of that mix. Susan Russ, Senior Vice President, Communications, MPA: The Association of Magazine Media, spoke at the ACT 7 opening dinner about why print has retained its primacy in an increasingly digital world.

The magazine ecosystem, Russ said, puts the consumer in the center, and includes all the ways in which magazine brands reach their audience: desktop/laptop, mobile, social, events, and print. In the United States, 91% of all adults read magazines and, contrary to popular perception, the percentage grows in the direction of youth, with 94% of adults under the age of 25 reading magazines. And research has indicated that, for reaching that audience in an effective way, the print part of that ecosystem is the most powerful.

Neuroscientific studies show that paper-based reading results in higher comprehension and recall; it is more powerful in stimulating emotions and desires; its readers give it a more focused attention with less distraction, and the tactile experience of paper contributes to its impact on readers. While connecting to the brand’s ecosystem through various channels is important, print stimulates different parts of the brain.
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Magazines are consumed across platforms, and its the entire ecosystem that contributes to their power and success. But print remains a key component—and it’s a component that other media companies don’t have.

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