Saturday, May 09, 2009

The future of the press: magazines

I can't quite read the date on this Business Week cover, but I wonder how much the editors were thinking about themselves when they put it to press.

"Blogs will change your business...catch up...or catch you later."

Well, blogs have certainly changed the paper press business, and I have already blogged about the sad, progressive demise of the American newspaper.

Of course, magazines are facing some of the same problems, although they may have a little more going for them: they aren't dailies, they're easier to handle on planes and beaches, and they have a more attractive allure than those somewhat grubby newspapers.

A lot of people really love their glossies: they like showing them off on their coffee table, they appreciate the feel of them, they enjoy browsing the magazine section of stores and maybe making a few impulse buys.

But despite what they have going for them, magazines are facing the same difficulties as newspapers: declining advertising revenue, sinking readership, and the overall problem of "if I can read everything online, why buy a magazine?"

A recent article in TechCrunch
tackles the issue of how business magazines can survive, and suggests a rather draconian, but perhaps necessary, new business model. I think the author's ideas give food for thought to all magazine companies, writers...and readers.

What do you think?