29 September 2007

Finding a Pulse

The 28 September issue of PDNPulse (published online by Photo Dsistrict News) offers encouraging news to magazines — and I don’t agree with a word of it.

It quotes the Economist.

To wit:

There are good reasons why magazine owners should not feel despondent … many of the pleasing characteristics of magazines—their portability and glossiness, for instance—cannot be matched online. And magazines are not losing younger readers in droves in the way that newspapers are … On the advertising side, magazines are faring much better than newspapers, which are losing big chunks of revenue as classified advertising shifts online. Advertisers like the fact that in many genres, such as fashion, readers accept and value magazine ads and even consider them part of the product.”

My response:

  1. Although those pleasing characteristics cannot be found online currently, why assume that a digital device —oh say, something like an iPhone — will not come along and totally disrupt paper.
  2. Lucky magazines! They’re not crashing like newspapers. They’re just slowly wasting away.
  3. And yes, readers do “accept and value magazine ads” and they will continue to do so — no matter what form the magazine may take.
Actually the Economist article does an extensive analysis of the magazine industry and its good news for magazines section is brief and not much of a balm.

In the same article, PDNPulse cites Advertising Age coverage of an MPA breakfast. At this meeting Economist publisher Paul Rossi said that as the increasingly eco-aware public looks at the retail sector’s awful waste of paper and petrol, "We as an industry are next on the list as a target.” He also said that the public will continue to accept magazines in paper form.

Wouldn’t it be lovely to think so.


It's been a bit since the last post but here I am. again. I thought I might call your attention to two comments about my 24 June post. It's called "SubHub's Super List" and ventures one guess about the future of custom publishing. See below.