Trust the media?

As the 45th president of the United States throws the news media in to its daily tail and head spin, it has been interesting to see his regular attacks on some of the world’s most powerful media outlets and its journalists develop, intensify and push to ever new boundaries. I generally find that those “Fake News” peddlers (as Trump calls them) generally work tirelessly to find the “truth” or, at worst, their own truth. So, from this corner of the media – we tend to read, digest and keep a distant but supportive arm around the pillar that is a functioning free press. But it’s got my mind running to try to understand and to try to predict what this means for travel media. If anything at all.

We create monthly print and regular video media for the world’s largest travel companies including: American Airlines, United Airlines, Amtrak, and Singapore Airlines (to name just a few) and I think they are starting to see a powerful trend in media consumption onboard their trains and planes. A fact that new independent data is backing up. Maybe I’m conflating two things, but we are really seeing more and more people reading our media and engaging with us than ever before – at exactly the same time as news, radio and TV media are in a downward spiral. But we have to dig down a bit and ask why?

Cut to a conversation I had with a good friend here in the USA, who said that she has now stopped watching the TV news, hasn’t read a newspaper in years and recently deleted Facebook. She has had enough. She is a respected professional in the medical world in Houston, and 2 weeks ago she took an American Airlines flight to Miami and said that she really enjoyed the inflight magazine. She wanted to consume, read in peace and be stimulated whilst traveling at 28,000ft, but she like the fact that the editorial avoided anything political, controversial or indeed negative. i.e. It was an all-round positive read for her.

So, does this go some of the way to help explain that our publication American Way magazine for American Airlines has seen a 25% increase in the last 2 years according to industry analysts and gurus GfK MRI? And a +117% audience increase in the last 5 years? Sure, we all know that more and more people are flying each year (around an industry average of +3 – 5% year on year growth) and we do expect passenger numbers to DOUBLE by 2036 according to IATA; BUT I think this phenomenal growth is very interesting.    

We already know that the “captive” nature of a plane or train is a very powerful engagement tool for media and brands today, but this becomes a much more potent ingredient when they are seeing their precious advertising money fail in the digital advertising space. With our magazines, not only do we have growing numbers of readers, we also know how affluent those flyers are and how much they like to consume. But the big point here is also the simplest. The people who fly are actual people. You know. Living breathing, consuming humans. And NOT bot farms or part of the fake news nonsense that we are being bombarded with.

So, what the conclusion here? And more importantly: What’s the prediction? Well here goes: I think in the next few years, and the ever-growing number of accusations of fake news and people’s reaction to it, consumers are going to look to its trusted brands for information. Think about it. American Airlines and United (and all of our clients, for that matter) consistently get you from A to B, day in day out, and have been doing so for year and years. They keep you safe, they get you to your loved ones. They open your eyes to world. So, we already trust them and can authentically trust their information. Imagine this. Would you trust the Editor of American Way Magazine (first launched 1966) writing and saying that a hotel is the best in the world? Or reading a silly review that is most likely created by a friend of the owners on Trip advisor?

To advertise with one of our trusted airlines contact Steve Rowbotham: Steve.Rowbotham@ink-global.com or +44 20 7625 0911 or +447968 141 196 

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