The future of South Africa’s female consumer magazines : an analysis of Media24’s female consumer magazine titles
Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.
Globally and locally, print media publications and companies have been under immense pressure as circulation and advertising revenues have declined steadily. The rise of the internet and subsequently, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 created new platforms on which consumers can access information. As a result, advertisers have followed consumers and have moved their funds away from print to digital and broadcast portals. The impact of the changing environment and changing media consumption behaviour on the newspaper industry has been well documented. This research report sought to understand the impact of these changes in the environment on the women’s magazine industry and to add to the lack of a body of knowledge in the academic sphere. The researcher chose a sample of women’s magazine editors based on the non-probability convenience sampling method, and to answer the research question, the researcher undertook a qualitative research methodology study. The researcher held in-depth interviews with each editor and open-ended questions were posed to them in order to understand their views on the future of women’s magazines based on the media consumption behaviours of readers, the media consumption behaviour of Millennials and the evolution of content and migration from print to digital. Findings from the survey revealed that the women’s magazine publishing industry has been in a steady decline. Older and more established glossy magazines have struggled to stabilise circulation figures. Consumer magazines in print format targeted at young females have closed down in favour of digital platforms. The future of women’s magazines in South Africa is dependent on the publishing companies’ ability to capture the Millennial consumer on appropriate and relevant platforms, but the industry first has to understand the drivers for media consumption behaviour in that particular market. One of the researcher’s key findings from this research is that women’s magazines will not only change platforms but that the old revenue model based on circulation and advertising revenue will need to be replaced by a completely new business model.