Every day, more members of the Baby Boomer generation turn 65 years old. By 2030, Census.gov projects there will be more than 70 million people in the U.S. age 65 or older. Because of its rapid growth, the senior demographic has become a strong, thriving market with expendable income.
Recently, the North American Mature Publishers Association (NAMPA) held its annual conference in Orlando, Florida. NAMPA members publish nearly 100 publications with a combined circulation of more than 4 million. Of these member publications, 23 were represented at the conference to exchange ideas with other publishing leaders.
Among the attendees, there was an impressive group of both publishers and newspaper and magazine editors currently reaching the senior and Baby Boomer markets. I was extremely impressed with how they do everything in their power to promote their brands in their markets to the senior demographic. These publishers and editors had a strong gift for sharing their insight with others in the industry, and it seemed like every minute of the conference was an opportunity to help each other produce better publications.
Most of the senior publications are represented in both print and online. Generally, the printed versions are free and distributed to places that seniors frequent, such as drugstores, restaurants, senior centers, retirement homes and senior expos. The attendees were interested in learning the best ways to use social media and had a strong desire to create informative websites. Many have annual resource directories that provide expanded information about long-term care, veterans’ benefits, caregiving, health care, housing, consumer protection, continuing education and more.
An entire session at the conference was devoted to radio shows for seniors, which is one common way publishers spread the word about their magazines and events. In addition, many conducted weekly talk shows that educated seniors on current events and activities.
Senior Expos are also important for mature publishers. Because many retired people have more time and resources than those in the workforce, educational, entertaining weekday events are often perfect opportunities for seniors to spend time out and about. The publishers also benefit by getting their senior publications into the hands of their readers.
I had the pleasure of representing Family Features at the conference to introduce our editorial content for senior-oriented magazines, newspapers and websites. Mature publications are just one of the markets we have in our extensive media network. Many of the editors at the conference were already active users of Family Features’ food, lifestyle and home and garden content and were highly complementary of our service. After meeting the leaders of these mature publications, they appear strong in their efforts to seek out opportunities for growth and have a positive outlook for the future of the industry.