Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

03/02/2010

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?”

Bingo!’

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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