APA: 16 percent increase in custom publications in Britain

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The number of new custom published magazines entering the marketplace in Britain last year exceeded those launched in 2005, the previous record-holding year, by 16 percent.

This information was released Jan. 9 by the Association of Publishing Agencies, which represents custom magazine publishers under the umbrella of the Periodical Publishers Association. Formed in 1993, the APA has 31 members producing publications for 350 leading companies in Britain and internationally.

"This is extremely encouraging for the industry, but not at all surprising as organizations are increasingly realizing the benefits and value of a customer magazine as a part of an integrated marketing strategy," said Julia Hutchinson, chief operating officer, APA. "2007 already looks extremely promising for customer magazines with a number of large contracts in the pipeline, so I fully expect it will be another great year for the industry."

New launches and new business wins last year included customer titles for Ronnie Scotts, Mazda, The Design Council, HMV, John Lewis, PC World and TFL. In addition, pure-play online retailer ASOS launched a hard-copy magazine to create an offline communication presence for the brand. This is a growing trend for the customer publishing industry following lastminute.com's launch of Lastminute Magazine in 2005.

The industry also enjoyed an increase in usage of its branded content across different channels including podcasts, online, radio and television. For example, content from Land Rover Onelife being shown on Land Rover's 24/7 TV Network, 'Go Beyond'.

Also reflecting the increase in new launches, customer publishers experienced growing numbers of new business pitches in 2006, an average of three more per agency than 2004.

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