Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue


Magazine Publishing: E-Media Revenue is Slow (Let’s Peek Inside the Numbers)

Magazine Revenue Sources

I post news on the entire publishing industry and remind readers occasionally of just what the whole publishing industry consists of 🙂 

Wikipedia gives about the best concise definition of Publishing:

‘Publishing includes the stages of the development, acquisition, copyediting, graphic design, production – printing (and its electronic equivalents), and marketing and distribution of newspapers, magazines, books, literary works, musical works, software and other works dealing with information, including the electronic media.’

Bill Mickey, Editor of Folio magazine (the magazine for magazine management) , discusses the results of Folio’s 2012 B2B CEO survey and says  “Hurry Up with That E-Media Revenue.”

Apparently, the survey reflected an industry still heavily dominated by print. Nothing wrong with that, but it worries the execs that the other platforms, such as digital, are not increasing their shares fast enough.

In other words, the ad revenue from the new tech media is not growing fast enough … at least, not as expected.

Mickey says their 2009 B2B CEO survey reflected e-media representing 12% of revenues for companies making < $5 million, and 13% for 2010. And in 2011, 13% again. For companies making > than $5 million, e-media accounted for 13% in 2009; 19% in 2010 and 17% in 2011. Not a very fast growth.

The one good thing is that print did remain steady during this same period.

As the focus continues on digital, and as mobile platforms mature, more dramatic upticks are expected in the other key revenue categories next year.

Believe me, the magazine publishing biz is doing quite well today compared to a few years ago!

Now, for some great analytical charts and graphs detailing more inside numbers of Folio’s 2012 B2B CEO survey jump here.


The State of Magazine Publishing in 2011

Plum Hamptons magazine

What does the periodical publishing picture look like in the current economy thus far in 2011? Not too damn bad! (I have posted on the magazine comeback in previous posts). There have been 138 new launches versus 74 folds in 2011 according to online periodical database MediaFinder.

Most old, favorite mags were pulled from the jaws of extinction by their scramble to and gained expertise in digital production … including complex content and multi-media platforms … AND, believe it or not, the rapid popularity in the mags new online presentations has led to a rebirth of the print issues as well, including ad revenues … At least that’s my understanding of the smoke signals.

This from FOLIO Magazine by Stefanie Botelho:

As the publishing industry continues to recover from the economic recession, 138 magazines launched in the first half of 2011, according to online periodical database MediaFinder.

In the first half of 2010, only 90 new titles came to fruition.

The food and regional interest sectors boast the most launches, category-wise, in the first half of 2011, with new titles like Plum Hamptons hitting the market.

Some good news for b-to-b: 34 new titles launched in the first half, including Progressive Cattleman and Converting Quarterly, compared to 13 titles that folded, including Industrial Wastewater and Texas Construction.

Seventy-four titles closed in the top half of 2011, down from 86 closures in the same period in 2010. Although tied with the food sector for the most number of launches, the regional interest segment also saw the most magazine closures, including the closure of regional “luxe” 944 Media magazines in June.

Read and learn more


U.S News & World Report Abandons ‘print’ Ship!

A venerable old weekly print news mag (it was reduced to monthly in November 2008) is riding off into it’s last sunset (the last issue is this month)…

BUT, the U.S. News & World Report will re-appear in digital clothes with an expanded online edition that will appear 8 times per year and definitly include it’s famous “list” issues…you remember them: the best colleges, hospitals, etc.

Here is a great eulogy delivered by big fan Greg Brown of FOLIO magazine:

Right about now, you should be getting your last printed copy of U.S. News & World Report.

Sad, isn’t it? I grew up a fan of the old weekly. I was reading “Washington Whispers” while most of my high school friends were flipping through ratty comic books or talking about MTV.

I looked down a bit on Newsweek and Time as hopelessly sleepy, middle-of-the-road books. Reading USN&WR was like belonging to a club. An annoying, smarty-pants club. The closest thing to it, probably, was The Economist, and I wouldn’t geek out that much for another few years.

I won’t miss it.

Why? Well, because, frankly, I don’t miss it now. I haven’t subscribed in years. I am part of the problem: They had me young (the marketer’s dream) and now I’m in the thick of my earning years. Yet you won’t find U.S. News in my house. I read a few mags here and there, but not one “newsweekly.”

It’s simple really. If TV has become a form of Internet for the disconnected, then newsweeklies are even further behind the curve. I can’t read newspapers and print anymore. I read way, way too much online, all the time. Nearly anything and everything you care to print and mail to me, I have already seen, absorbed, and likely forgotten.

read and learn more


Newsweek Put on the Block!

I enjoy the hell out of Newsweek consistently. I will miss this great news mag! AND their website, as well! Tell me, where are the people going to read good, in-depth stories sprinkled with humor when the need arises? Where will Howard Fineman go? I LIKE HOWARD!

Anyway, the Washington Post Company is searching for buyers for Newsweek and IF I had the moolah I would buy it myself…

Jason Fell of FOLIO Magazine reported this:

The Washington Post Company has put Newsweek magazine on the block. The newspaper publisher said today that it has retained Allen & Company to explore a potential sale.

“The losses at Newsweek in 2007 to 2009 are a matter of record. Despite heroic efforts on the part of Newsweek’s management and staff, we expect it to still lose money in 2010,” Washington Post Co. chairman Donald E. Graham says in a statement. “We are exploring all options to fix that problem. Newsweek is a lively, important magazine and website, and in the current climate, it might be a better fit elsewhere.”

Advertising pages at Newsweek declined 20.4 percent through the first quarter of 2010according to Publishers Information Bureau figures. Through 2009, pages were down 25.9 percent.

Last year, Newsweek’s overall paid and verified circulation fell 27 percent, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Newsstand sales plummeted more than 40percent to 62,257 copies.


Is Digital Publishing the Same as Instant Coffee?

Is the presnt depressed state of revenue for print magazine publishers due to the recession or new media technology?

I have discussed this from different perspectives in previous posts but will dicsuss it again since I read an interesting take on this subject in the San Francisco News Blog “The Snitch” by Lois Beckett:

‘Imagine that you are the head of a American magazine publishing company. You publish Vogue, or Sports Illustrated, or National Geographic. Your ad revenue has plummeted. You have recently shuttered several magazines. The Web sites of your publications are clunky and underdeveloped (most of them use a similar dull template). You know that you need to do something drastic, something that will turn around your business and inspire a new generation of readers.

And so, on a gray Monday morning in San Francisco, you and your fellow magazine-publishing cohorts join together to launch a collaborative effort to save the American magazine — “Magazines, The Power of Print.”

Yes — you are not going to struggle alone. You are going to bring together the best minds in the business to create a $90 million print advertising campaign. You are going to advertise in your own magazines about how people should keep reading magazines!

To do this, you need a really killer slogan. Something that will galvanize your readers. That will show just how cutting-edge and relevant you are.

“Will the Internet Kill Magazines? Did Instant Coffee Kill Coffee?”


John’s opinion note: Well, at least the above SF News Blog post came up with a smashing slogan! And one that has an element of truth in it.

My thought, however, is the magazine publishing depleted revenue state began slowly as a result of the growing accessibility to the internet, then was exasperated by the imploding economy during the Bush years, but was intensified and experienced a metamorphosis due to the introduction of new media technology such as e-readers and iPads…Strangely enough, this latest technology will also be the salvation and solution to the publishing crisis! This is because the demand for content for the popular media devices has gone through the roof!

As I’ve said before, when the dust settles around all this new tech, and the industry learns to adapt to new formats and business models, and the newness of e-devices wears off with consumers…the printed word will still have a place in the publishing food-chain (albeit not as the only game in town) simply because people like to escape a f—ing monitor at times, no matter it’s size, and curl up with a good book or magazine…Especially in the bathroom, paper just seems warmer somehow…and what if you run out of toilet paper??

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