The Future of Magazines in the Digital Age

Robert Desatnick,


There are storm clouds on the horizon for the magazine industry.

Don’t 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.