Saturday, October 13, 2007

State of the Magazine Publishing Industry 2007

The publishing industry is in a state of change, shock, and reformation. The Internet has only begun to change the nature of this print industry. Google has cornered the advertising market.

So how does all this affect you, the library user who loves to read magazines? "Out of Vogue," an article on the magazine industry in the September 29, 2007 issue of The Economist, has a clue. The article reports that "although healthier than newspapers, consumer magazines have problems" (p. 72-73).

The magazine industry simply can no longer survive as a purely print service. Consumers and readers are looking for a full-range of media services that include the printed word, visual, streaming media, interactivity, shopping opportunities, and cross-linkages with relevant but separate media.

Here is an excerpt from the article - which can be found in both our print archive and magazine database resources. You will need a San Francisco Public Library card to get into the databases from outside the library.

"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.

Unfortunately, magazine publishers have been slow to get onto the internet. 'Eighteen months ago the internet was something they worried about after 4pm on Friday,' says Peter Kreisky, a consultant to the media industry, 'but now it's at the heart of their business model.' Meredith, a magazine publisher from the mid-west of America with old-fashioned brands such as Better Homes and Gardens, recently held an internet 'boot-camp' for its executives to teach them internet basics.

To their credit, big magazine firms are doing far more than replicating their print products online. Whereas newspapers have concentrated on transferring print journalism to the internet, magazines offer people useful, fun services online--Lagardère's Car and Driver website, for instance, offers virtual test drives, and Better Homes and Gardens online has a 3D planning tool to help people redesign their homes."

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