Will TiVo help magazines?

Will TiVo help magazines? CNET reports, “a majority of national advertisers plan to cut spending on TV commercials by 20 percent in the next five years, when they believe that ad-skipping devices like TiVo will take hold in households, according to a new survey conducted by Forrester Research in concert with the Association of National Advertisers.


…advertisers plan to shift their money to other media. Nearly half of advertisers said they will transfer dollars to other traditional media, including magazines and radio, in which ads aren’t as easily skipped.

While I applaud the findings of this research, I feel it is bunk. Check back here in five years and I’ll be blogging that spending on TV commercials has not been cut by 20 percent but that advertisers have found a way to display logos on the foreheads of actors, news anchors and MTV reality show participants. Or, more likely, someone will come up with creative ways other than traditional 30 or 60-second increments in which to sell and create advertising.

And while I believe advertisers would be better served by advertising in magazines, my reason for recommending magazines would not be that is a medium in which ads aren’t easily skipped. I mean, how hard is it to navigate a magazine by using the table of contents? Or if so inclined, I could play TiVo on a magazine and rip out pages with ease.

Rather, magazines are a medium in which the reader expects advertising to be a part of the experience and in many (most?) instances, values and anticipates the advertising at the same level as the editorial content. Flip through any business-to-business magazine and you’ll see what I mean, or, better yet, go to the newsstand and pick up a copy of Vogue Magazine and work your way through from either the front or back of the book. Why do readers purchase it? For the ads? For the edit? Wait…where is the edit?