Study: Magazines Risk Losing Core CPG Advertisers to Web

Traditional offline media could be in danger of losing a substantial portion of their consumer packaged goods (CPG) advertising base, according to a new study by JupiterResearch.

Based on a survey of 1,803 U.S. adults who consume household information online, the study found that approximately 44 percent of respondents prefer the Internet as their leading information channel, compared to 20 percent who prefer magazines and television. Following that migration online are a growing number of CPG advertisers, who are avoiding traditional offline media and aggressively turning to online channels — especially search engine marketing and optimization of their own Web sites, the researchers found.

Together, those two phenomena pose “a double risk” to offline publishers in one of the most old-fashioned advertising sectors, said David Card, the lead analyst on the JupiterResearch report.

“Except for financial information, the online medium usually ranks number two or three as an information source, compared with TV or newspapers,” said Card, a senior analyst at JupiterResearch. “As such, the Internet being a clear favorite should send a warning sign to traditional media: serious cannibalization potential ahead.”

In varying degrees, the offline media imperiled by what Card calls this “disintermediating” effect include women’s magazines, newspaper home sections, and television programs with a specific CPG focus.

“In the case of household information, publishers of women’s and household magazines should probably fear the Internet — or take the opportunity to exploit it — more than should TV networks and newspapers,” Card said.

In order to preempt potential losses, the report recommends publishers further develop their online presences by adding sponsorship opportunities and investing in search engine marketing.

Of the group polled, 40 percent of women and 50 percent of men first go to the search engines for online information about maintaining their households. The second leading source of household information were household content sites, followed by magazine sites, TV show sites, CPG brand sites, and portal home channels.

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