Faithful FZ readers know I’ve been saying the bell tolls for print mags for quite some time, but Digital Magazine News begs to differ. In their latest issue, Digital Magaazine News shows that some publishers not only have a clue, they are actually using it to extend the lifetime of their publications.
Behold US News & World Report galloping right into the 21st Century with an online/print combo idea that is designed to keep the enterprise going. Rather than rely on print or the online version is the mainstay, US News has taken the “value added” angle–using both editions to give more to both readers and advertisers.
Now for some of us, this is a “well, duh!” approach. But why it has taken so many magazines so long to do what Wired has gotten right for years is beyond me. Simple laziness? The old “We never did it that way before” excuse? A complete and total lack of a clue? Hard to say. But it’s shameful, whatever the excuse.
If there is one bright and shining hope for newsstand mags, this approach is part of the equation. Hey, Chicago Tribune–wake up and smell the newsprint. This is the way to go. Freelancers, keep your eyes peeled for more enterprises like this–this is your future on the newsstand.
My insider sources in the television industry tell me certain large corporate sponsors are scaling back expenditures on TV ads. This might not mean anything to the average freelancer…or does it?
What’s good for the ad industry is good for print. What’s bad for ads trickles down to the newsstand, too. If major sponsorship for newsstand publications dwindles, where do these print publications turn? Ad revenues cut, staff chopped to the bare minimum, people spending less on extras like pricey mags?
I’ll tell you where…they turn to the Internet.
Print will continue to survive as long as there are buses, airplanes, and trains. But the ubiquity of mobile media cannot be ignored. When Catherine L. Tully gets an iPhone and fully embraces the technology, you know this stuff has ARRIVED. Print has long been in transition. Back in your granpappy’s day, the web was another way to advertise the print mag. Now those roles are reversed. Print will exist to promote the website as the main attraction. I’ve said all this before, but in case you’re just joining us please remember I warned you. Print markets are not dying. They are MUTATING. Continue reading TV Ads Scaled Back, Print to Follow?
I have to say that there is a post that I really enjoyed on Mr. Magazine’s Blog. (And if you haven’t yet seen his site, bookmark it–it’s excellent.) The post is basically talking about the fact that print is not yet dead, and still has the chance to re-invent itself and remain viable. Since I am of the same mind, of course I liked it!
Personally I am one of those people…you know…the ones who like to feel a magazine in their hand and flip the pages without pressing a button. I still subscribe to magazines, still read books and still love the print portion of the industry. And while I’m an insane fan of the web, I despise reading anything other than tidbits on it. (Don’t worry, I print using draft quality and then use the sheets for scrap paper or print on the other side. I’m actually a big fan of trees and such. My eyes just won’t hold up to too much online scanning. After all, I am 40.)
If you get the chance, give this post a read.
Better yet, subscribe to a publication that you enjoy this year.