Media Magazine

Return to Print for Some Magazines

Posted on the 13 March 2014 by Themarioblog @garciainteract

TAKEAWAY: There is the sound of those printing presses, and the smell of ink touching paper, in the air—especially for magazines.

As I promote the idea of publishing within the media quartet, which, of course, involves four platforms—-phone, tablet, online and print—-there will always be someone in the audience arguing that it is more like a media trio because, they claim, “the days of print are counted.

Everyone and everything’s days are likely to be counted, no doubt. But one doubt I have never had is that there is a place for print, not as the protagonist of the media quartet (the smartphone is), but as a viable, functioning and, in some cases, desired, part of it.

Now an informative and timely piece, titled Why so many digital publishers are flocking back to print, reaffirms the point:

The trend is a 180-degree flip from the typical publisher transition from print to digital: Whereas print publishers have sold their websites as extensions of their print products, today’s digital publishers are creating magazines to supplement their websites.

The business models and how much a subscriber pays for these magazines varies:

Rather than sell the magazines for cheap, Pitchfork is asking for $50 a year (or $20 an issue). Newsweek, which hasn’t been in print since 2012, is offering single issues for $8, or $150 a year, far higher than the under-$20 subscriptions most mainstream weeklies have historically offered. Capital New York isn’t selling its magazine at all, opting instead to distribute issues for free to select influencers. The same goes for its sister publication Politico.

The words print edition and premium content seem to go hand in hand. Without the premium content, subscribers will not want to pay for these publications, but that, of course, is the same for any platforms.

In France, Eric Fottorino, former director of Le Monde is to launch a new weekly news magazine called Le 1 (The One), prompting a writer to pose the question: “… in a climate where there is a new weekly newspaper in Australia, Newsweek is returning to print, and traditionally online-only outlets such as Pitchfork, Politico and Pando all establishing a print edition, it is reasonable to ask: is print undergoing a revival?”.

Are we likely to see a trend for a return of print?

I am not sure, but it is likely to happen if publishers settle for a small print run, perhaps charging more for subscriptions.

There will always be audiences for which print is non existent, a group that is likely to grow in size. For the now, however, I can see where print magazines that specialize in good photography and in depth stories, may have their day in the sun.

Something for which we are quite happy.

The media quartet would not be the same without print in it.

TheMarioBlog post # 1452

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