It’s Dying. Accept it.

Posted by John Park on Oct 2nd, 2011
2011
Oct 2
 
 
I just received a Groupon email letting me know that I could subscribe to Vogue for $8.  If I took advantage of this offer, I would receive in the mail 12 beautiful, full color issues of Vogue for just $8.  After Groupon takes their 50%, Vogue gets $4.
 
A few months back, I visited the web site of a notable advertising industry publication.  To subscribe, I would have to pay over $50 a year.  I passed.  Instead, I just decided to opt in to their email newsletter.  About a week ago, I started to receive the physical copy of the publication in the mail for free.  I didn’t pay a cent but they decided to start mailing them to me.
 
The magazine publishers are up against the wall.  The above scenarios are two small examples of a desperate industry.  If their content is so valuable, why I am I receiving them for free or practically for free?  Not only did I get it for free, I am receiving them at their cost.
 
The answer is simple.
 
It is more valuable for them to tout a larger subscriber base than to actually care about what their publications are being bought for.  It all funnels down to how many subscribers they can tout or claim to their potential advertisers.
 
This is not a new occurrence.  It has been happening for years but true desperation is rearing its ugly head for the first time.
 
Ladies and gentlemen.  PRINT IS DYING.
 
Don’t advertise in it.  Don’t pay for it.  Don’t invest in it.
 
If you are a magazine publisher, place ALL your resources towards digitization.  Accept reality.  Do you really believe that my 5 year old boy will buy a magazine for entertainment and information when he turns 18?
 
 
 
 

2 Responses

  1. Justin Amendola Says:

    John:

    Your points underline the need for print publishers to provide consumers and advertisers with choices.

    While I strongly prefer digital content consumption, my wife still subscribes to several print publications. That may change with time, but leads me to believe that there is still a (changing) market for print materials.

    I’d also say that publications aligning themselves by “print” and “online” editions will rapidly change. Consumers care more about the quality of content, than about where they access that content.

    Advertisers care about reaching their target audiences regardless of medium.

    Smart publishers will continue to adapt their models and offer advertisers and consumers a wealth of choices on how to achieve their goals.

    The economies of scale long associated with print will change and that may accelerate certain trends, but consumers who prefer physical channels may surprise us with their persistence.

    Thanks,
    Justin

  2. John Park Says:

    Excellent points Justin. You’re right. They may surprise us.

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