Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Do We Need Magazines Anymore?

DO MAGAZINES STILL have a place in the world?

The number of magazine retailers has decreased by more than 11 percent since 2007, according to Advertising Age.

They also reported: "Single-copy sales have been experiencing a long swoon, falling 5.6% in the first half of 2010 from the first half a year earlier, 9.1% in the second half of 2009, 12.4% in the previous six months and 11.1% and 6.3% in the halves before that, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations."

Does that mean that people don't read print magazines anymore? Do you?

Some of the problems can be attributed to the lackluster economy. Technology can be blamed for some of the declines. And greater diversity of information outlets is probably a huge culprit.

How about this: is there any need for an all-local Philly music mag? Would you read it? Would you pay for it?


Joe Cranney said...

Magazines still have an audience. Just because they are posted online doesn't mean that they are not read in print. The availability to receive the news the magazine provides online isn't enough to kill the medium.
Did instant coffee kill coffee? Instant magazines won't kill magazines.

Gabrielle Nichols said...

I agree. The mindless pleasure associated with magazine-flipping is irreplaceable. The statistics quoted are also all about single-copy sales, disregarding all subscriptions, which represent the more devoted magazine-readers who will always exist.

With regards to the Philly music mag, I am uncertain if there is a need, given the multitude of online resources devoted to this (The Walrus blog, The Deli Philadelphia, Philadelphia Music Examiner). The wide variety and number of these resources, however, does indicate a definite supply and audience for such a magazine, and even more so, a great number of willing and enthusiastic contributers. The main difference between a print magazine and online source is the frequency with which it can be updated, giving the internet sources a notable advantage.

Sarah Mariano said...

Someone, somewhere will always prefer paper of a digital screen, but the time will eventually come that most to all of the things we read will end up on a computer. We can only fight it for so long. Some things will always need to be in print, but eventually we’ll be downloading everything, more than we already are.

Alexis Wright-Whitley said...

I don't think that online magazines will make print magazines extinct. There will always be a group out there who prefer the print medium. The thing about most new sources online is that they aren't direct; you have to search to find a good read. I think that if magazines that are actually printed, are put directly online, magazines may be in trouble. However, when it comes to magazines, I personally enjoy holding paper and flipping through it.
In terms of an all-local Philly music mag, I would be totally into that. I think others who are more into underground music would enjoy it also, as it will help local musicians to get their name out there. I would seriously like to get involved in such a thing as well.

Christopher Malo said...

I think there will always be a demand for print publications, but I think they will become more niche and fragmented. And like the music industry is coming to grips with (for similar reasons) the expectation of turning it into something that generates millions of dollars for the individual may have passed. Which isn't a good or bad thing. People just have to adjust their expectations.

Imani Abdus-Saboor said...

Being an avid magazine reader, I enjoy the print medium. As child, I looked forward to flipping through the pages, finding a surprise poster in the inside, a moment that could never be duplicated by an online magazine. I have pin ups of magazine covers everywhere in my room. Although there are magazine sites that I check daily, and magazines usually only come out once a month, print is my preference. There will always be dedicated print magazine readers, such as myself, so I believe that magazines will continue to have a place in the world.

James McCreery said...

Philly is a sports town, and a very poor town. I did not look this up, its just what i see every day walking to my class and seeing the city. People do not have money to waste on magazines anymore. There are web-sites for different peoples niches. Web sites offer you the option of interacting with people on blogs to share a common interest. That is something a magazine can never do. Until it becomes totally digital, and someone with one of those Kindles could just subscribe to a mag and then some how discuss it on a live blog on the bottom. Like a KINDLE/DROIDX THINGAMABOBBER..LOL..

James McCreery said...

Oh and yes im in Journalism 1111 with Mr. Miller...

Kate McCann said...

Aside from the fact that many people just like subscribing and receiving their favorite magazine in the mail, there are many other uses that would suffer if no one was printing magazines.

Most people's coffee tables at home have magazines scattered over them. Doctors' offices, waiting rooms and nail salons use them to keep people entertained while they wait. I understand that the majority of sales that magazines get are not from these outlets, but they certainly add up. Magazines may have to rethink their strategies or not produce as many copies, but I believe there is a place for them for at least the coming years.

billydelion75 said...

I have several magazine subscriptions. I enjoy the format and getting detailed information on whatever niche subject that the mag is about. I could get info on some things that I subscribe to but I enjoy the way that some of the mag's cover the subject, or the angle/stance that they take. Also I have a mag that I get that I am passionate about and I love the TLC they put into handling their mag and their info.

Jaimie Gill said...

I too agree that print magazines will not go out of least not for a while; who knows what the future will bring. My first instinct when standing in line to check out at the grocery store is to pick a magazine and start skimming through. I myself am not totally up with all this technology and find it easier personally to just read the magazine itself vs. going on web sites and filtering through different links to find an article that I am interested in.

Angela Montoni said...

I doubt print magazines will become extinct, however I rarely read them anymore due to the following:

I used to have 3 magazine subscriptions, one to Rolling Stone, one to Glamour, and one to Cosmo

I stopped subscribing to Glamour and Cosmo because I got sick of reading the same stories month after month, its like they had about 18 stories and recycled them throughout the year, it became a waste of money

I stopped subscribing to Rolling Stone when the format was changed. It went from being a wide, newspaper like format, to standard magazine, and cut the number of pages by about 40. Elaborations became nonexistent. RS used to take pride in informing the reader about current music, movies, US politics, and word affairs. However when the number of pages were cut, so was the quality of work.

Even though I dont subscribe to these magazines anymore, it doesnt make me want to go to their website and read the articles. If I wanted to read them that bad I would have renewed my subscription

Brandon Baker said...

Do we need them? No.
Do we want them? I believe the answer is a resounding "yes." Magazines have a unique flavor to them that can't be found in newspapers or online websites. It's very much a part of our culture. Who's on the cover of People this week? What crazy suggestion is Cosmo putting out this month? These are things that are a part of our nation and its ongoing culture, as silly as they may sound.

I don't believe that newspapers or magazines will die out, but I do believe that newspapers will find their way in a trash can long before a magazine ever will.

Z said...

I have to say, I'm 49 years old and am an avid reader of all kinds of printed media. Including newspapers. But I have to say that when I read a newspaper in the morning, I've already heard about most of the news the day or night before via the internet. It certainly lags behind and I find myself less and less interested in reading the paper. Or magazines for that matter. its all old news. It does appear that printed media is doomed. With Border's Books closing most of its store..the writing is on the wall.

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