The Future of Magazines in the Digital Age
There are storm clouds on the horizon for
the magazine industry.
Dont be fooled by magazine coffers
bloated with dot-com advertising riches. This temporary largesse
it is temporary because it cannot and will not continue
masks the underlying problems that will inevitably and
fundamentally change the way magazines are produced by publishers
and consumed by readers.
The problems center on two main areas:
dwindling circulation and escalating costs.
It is becoming harder and harder for
publishers to get their magazines in front of readers. The
pressure is especially great for smaller titles that are being
squeezed out by the one-two punch of wholesaler consolidation and
retail migration away from mom and pop outlets to the mass, drug
and bookstore super sellers. The strategy of these behemoths is
to expand margins by shrinking the number of available titles.
The result of this strategy is that an increasing number of
titles, including familiar brand names such as Life and
Mirabella, have ceased to exist.