Ovato NZ aims to breathe life into decimated mags

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Ovato NZ is launching a new publishing arm to resuscitate the Kiwi magazine industry, following the devastating closure of the country's biggest publisher Bauer Media NZ last month.

LIfe support: Ovato provides new service for Kiwi magazine publishers
Life support: Ovato provides new service for Kiwi magazine publishers

Bauer closed its business abruptly eight weeks ago when the government's Level 4 lockdown banned all but essential printing. Most of the Bauer jobs were printed by Ovato's rival WebStar.

Ovato now expects many of the former top-selling magazines to be bought up by multiple small to medium-sized publishers, and so has created Ovato Publishing Solutions, or OPS, to be positioned as a supportive service for the magazine brands in New Zealand.

Paul Gardiner, recently installed managing director of Ovato NZ said, “The New Zealand magazine market will be fragmented going forward, and there is an opportunity for new and smaller magazine publishers to leverage back end publishing services by partnering with OPS, maximising efficiencies for their business.”

Bauer published the big magazine titles such as Women's Weekly and Women's Day, and many of the country's biggest entertainment, lifestyle and current affairs titles including the NZ Listener, Woman’s Day, New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, North and South and Next.

Actively responding: Paul Gardiner, CEO, Ovato NZ

Gardiner said, “This full-service model for magazine publishing is centred around enabling publishers to do what they do best, which is to create great content, while at the same time being able to tap into a non-competitive shared support network that makes it easy for them to get their content to market and in the hands of consumers.”

OPS will be headed up by Tony Edwards, who is the general manager of Ovato Retail Distribution. Edwards has been a sounding board and a well known figure of the industry for many years.

“We are actively responding to change and anticipated demand in the magazine market. Ovato NZ is the only print, distribution and marketing company that has the ability to offer this total suite of services to provide NZ publishers a cost-effective publishing solution,” Edwards said.

“We are excited about what the new NZ magazine market will look like. During Covid-19, even with the reduction in magazine availability due to Bauer’s exit and limited retail, we have seen strong sales in supermarkets. New Zealanders continue to have a strong connection with magazines.”

The one-stop shop will provide services such as

  • magazine research and insights;
  • advertising representation (print and digital);
  • magazine printing and production;
  • circulation and marketing services;
  • retail distribution, including demand forecasting and allocations;
  • retail merchandising and brand activation; and
  • subscription management and mailhouse services.

OPS will join Ovato’s other services: print, residential distribution NZ, and retail distribution NZ.

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