Content is King But It Exists to Serve It's Audience
Alright, I have made the point that I think that content is a very important component of media. I strongly believe that!
However, great content is only useful if it is distributed to an audience that wants it and can relate to the products advertised within the medium carrying that content. In other words, it is only important if it is seen by the right audience. It only exists to serve that audience and thus serve the provider of that content.
For many years BPA and ABC Audits have been the standard for verifying that a magazine is being sent to the audience that it claims. They are still the standard today. In fact, I would not recommend a monthly magazine that does not have or is currently working toward an audit.
That leads me to a question that I have wondered about for many years but have not used to convince clients on the validity of an audience. For controlled circulation magazines, why would an person subscribe year after year if they were not interested in the content? This is especially true for a trade publication.
The answer seems pretty obvious, there is not any good reason why an individual would take the time year after year to subscribe to a magazine if he or she was not interested in the content. In my opinion, that makes the reader a qualifed subscriber in a round about way. If there is a high level of interest in the content, there must be some connection to the products advertised.
Therefore, when an advertiser selects a magazine for the placement of advertising, one interesting characteristic should be how long the current reader base has been subscribing on average. If the renewal rate is high, that speaks well for the publication obviously.
So content is what makes a magazine great. But the audience is what makes it worth using as a vehicle for your advertising.