Factual Facts In An Age Of Alternative Facts… Just The {Magazine Media} Facts Ma’am!

February 7, 2017

A Mr. Magazine™ Musing…

Samir Husni 2017In the land of leprechauns, the most prized possession that the magical creatures can offer a human being is the “pot ‘o gold” at the end of the rainbow. But what the little rascals always fail to point out is that there is no “end” of the rainbow. It’s as elusive as the gossamer veils you chase in the fog.

It was after having that imagery floating around in my brain for a while that I began to really muse about that mysterious “pot ‘o gold.” And about how it reminded me a lot of what the media world is up against when it comes to digital advertising and the ability to realize any revenue from the phantom microcosm we call the Internet.

 Pot Of Gold Dan Hilbert And of course, after that brainstorm, it stands to reason another would follow, right? I began to consider all of the “Alternative Facts” that we have to choose from in these days of what I like to call, “fish-tale journalism,” where sometimes the facts take on a magical life of their own and grow big enough to actually become stories and news sources. So, with the weight of importance these thoughts presented, Mr. Magazine™ decided to do a little research himself on the world of digital advertising and revenues. And here are a few factual facts that I discovered and that might make you see the world of Internet advertising in an entirely different light.

The Random Facts:

The average US online ad growth in the first half of 2016 was +19% from which Facebook saw a +68% growth, Google +23% growth and everyone else -2% decline
*Source: IAB, Google, Facebook, DCN

Year-over-Year Growth of Digital Spending: In the four-year period 2011 to 2015 the industry witnessed an average growth of 19%. In 2016 the growth of digital spending was a 6.8% with Dec. 2016 at a mere 0.7% growth.
*Standard Media Index, January 2017.

Online advertising spending growth has dropped almost in half from a 26.2% in 2015 to 13.3% in 2016.
*Standard Media Index, January 2017.

The number of mobile devices with ad blocking software installed jumped 38% from 275 million at the end of 2015 to 380 million at the end of 2016.
*Media Post.

The “trajectory of digital spend has recently hit a major speed bump as brands question the efficacy of the medium.”
*CEO of the Standard Media Index.

WPP’s CEO Sir Martin Sorrell expects growth in digital ad spend to slow over the next few years as concerns over view ability, ad fraud and measurement impact budgets.
*UK’s Marketing Week magazine

*Magazines show the highest return on advertising spend. In fact for everyone dollar spend in magazine advertising, the return on the investment is the highest of all media. Every dollar spent magazines has a $3.94 return on the investment compared with a $1.53 in digital video advertising.
*Nielsen Catalina Solutions.

“Agencies may be underestimating traditional media, while clients feel there’s not been enough seamless integration as we chased the shiny objects,” Mark Sneider, president of RSW/US, told AdWeek in an interview.
*Source: Venture Beat

But for most companies, digital advertising remains dauntingly massive, complex, and obscure. We found that mobile advertising can suck in up to 40 percent of your advertising budget on fees and commissions alone, if you’re not careful. It includes DMPs, DSPs, SSPs, no fewer than three different kinds of ad networks (of which there are about 1,000 currently), plus multiple kinds of ad exchanges.
*Source: Venture Beat

*The number of new magazines launched in 2016 was 225 compared with 236 in 2015. The total number of new book-a-zines launched in 2016 was 623 compared with 578 in 2015.
*Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni Launch Monitor.

Now, are you sure that the Leprechaun is really offering you a pot ‘o gold that exists?

So, I wonder, why are we still chasing that “pot ‘o gold” while we have one right under our noses? For the life of me I can’t answer this question. It makes no sense, but, remember, maybe and only maybe, it is just common sense, and therefore, it is too hard to see…

Until next time…

See you at the newsstands…


  1. […] trusted friend Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni took a long hard look at what he calls the “pot of gold” mentality of digital advertisers and found some “factual facts” that might shed some real light on the […]

  2. […] stats you want about why digital ad spend is slowing and less effective than magazines can be found here. And unlike fake news, there are actual sources. Here’s a […]

  3. […] stats you want about why digital ad spend is slowing and less effective than magazines can be found here. And unlike fake news, there are actual sources. Here’s a […]

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