It's widely acknowledged Australian publishers produce some of the best food magazines in the world and we are unashamedly obsessed with cooking shows. So why are food magazine sales being hit so hard? There are many reasons of course, including changing consumer habits, but new competition from technology companies like Pinterest and Evernote can't be entirely helping food magazines either.
Australian Food Magazine Category: The recent ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulation) release showed over -101K sales wiped off the food category in the 12 months to December (-11.1%) (audited titles only, excludes new entrant Feast). Estimated readership grew on some food titles so publishers and advertisers still reach large audiences but there is downward pressure on circulation revenue.
With recipes, storage, searchability and sharability is a challenge digital alternatives easily conquer. Food apps don't have the informed editorial features of magazines, but they excel in the recipe management arena; and for busy people this cannot be underestimated. I recently found a new food app from successful tech company Evernote. The team have clearly studied how users were using their traditional Evernote account, recognised an opportunity for new product and developed something especially for food.
Meet Evernote Food.
What is Evernote Food?
It's a free app that helps you organise your food life. Their website describes it as "Evernote Food helps you remember the food you love. From finding great new restaurants to documenting how to make family recipes, Evernote Food gives you one place to discover, collect, and remember your life’s memorable moments in food".
App Sections and Features
When you download Evernote food one of the great features is any food related "notes" in your normal Evernote account will be auto-magically pulled into the food app so the set up is completely painless. The well designed app features a fun accordian-style home page which opens out to a number of interactive sections (see slideshow below):
Images via: Evernote.com
Tips for magazine publishers on food:
Magazine publishers are the producers and custodians of some breathtaking imagery. Many, hold large archives of beautiful, carefully curated image collections that extend back years. Magazines are also active on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and produce other content like video and of course, articles. What if you could enhance your images with content your brands already produce and make it interactive?
Thinglink promises to make images; more interactive, more shareable and more engaging. Your audience will spend more time consuming your content - the goal of every publisher. The first thing to understand is Thinglink has nothing to do with watermark or scan technology. There are no apps to download or mobile scanning to do.
What is Thinglink?
Thinglink creates images tagged and saved with rich media and interactive content. The image is then embedded on your website and shared with followers on social media. Interactive content is recognisable to the reader via small symbols the user hovers their cusor over - including video, social media, music, links (wiki's, websites, profiles etc.). Now, there are many images on the Thinglink website made by Punters - some great, others not so much. BUT, in the hands of experienced magazine designers and marketers, this tool could really help your content sing. I aim to bring ideas and tools for publishers of all sizes and budgets, and the good news is - the basic business plan is free for commercial use.
How can publishers and brands use it?
Magazines can use this tool to create an image for their magazines to share on social media, embed on blogs and anywhere else. Linking it with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, online subscription page, competitions etc. It seems only limited by imagination (and design skill). The still-shots captured here don't do the interactivity justice - so please be sure to check it out online. You can set up your own profile here at: www.thinglink.com
Images via: Thinglink.com.
Fine Print Blog
Musings about magazines.
I'm a magazine sales and marketing consultant from Sydney, Australia.