Insights

Time Inc. Sells Out Cover

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Is this the beginning of a trend?

Time Magazine, the nation’s largest magazine publisher will begin to sell and place small ads on the cover of both Time and SportsIllustrated starting with the June 2nd, 2014 edition. Is this the end of magazines as we know them?

By placing ads on the covers of magazines,Time Inc. has broken a long-standing tradition in place to protect and preserve editorial independence from advertisers and marketers. Sure, Time Inc. isn’t the first publisher to put ads on the cover of a magazine and the print publication industry has been struggling for some years now but will selling cover ad spots to marketers be enough?

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Time Inc.’s chief content officer Norman Pearlstine said that the ads are not as “groundbreaking” as they seem, but rather, a way for the company to catch up with the direction the industry is headed. Digital ad spending is growing. Many publications, including The New York Times, have stepped up efforts to attract advertisers who are spending marketing dollars increasingly on Google and social media sites like Facebook.

Do you think this is the start to a new trend for magazines or a habit that needs to be kicked to the curb?

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