Is the Print Magazine Industry Dead?

With multiple magazines completely shifting to a digital platform, and people’s reading habits changing from print to digital, the print magazine industry is dying (Jefferey Spivey, 2016). Spin, an American music magazine founded in 1985 stopped running in print in 2012, notifying all of its subscribers: “Following the September/October issue, SPIN has halted publication of our print edition to invest more deeply in our digital properties, including SPIN.com, SPIN Play for iPad, and SPIN mobile.”

FHM, a UK monthly men’s lifestyle magazine announced that it would be suspending print publication. In a statement, the company said: “Over time young men’s media habits have continually moved towards mobile and social and today FHM and ZOO have a combined digital audience of over five million.”

It is clear that the print magazine industry is slowly dying, due to a decrease in revenue. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), a non-profit Circulation auditing organisation, The UK’s 503 magazines audited by ABC lost print sales at an average rate of 6.3 per cent year on year in the second half 2013 (UK magazines lose print sales by average of 6.3 per cent – full ABC breakdown for all 503 titles, 2014).

Despite the shift of many publication from print to digital, however, the print magazine industry remains alive. Newsweek, a US current affairs stopped print publication on the 31st December, 2012, moving to a digital platform. On August 16th, IBT media bought Newsweek from IAC, and on March 7th, IBT media relaunched a print edition of Newsletter. Within the first year of the relaunch, peak circulation was over $3 million (Nelson et al., 2017).

In August 2016, Freeport Press promoted a 7-question survey to multiple magazine readers in North America (Ave, Philadelphia, and 44663, 2016). The survey got 692 responses. Magazine readers were asked a few questions such as: in the past month how many print magazines have you read, and in the past month how many digital magazines have you read? Here are the responses to the first question and here are the responses to the second.

As clearly seen, digital media is overtaking print media at an alarming rate. However, the print industry is not dead yet.

 

Bibliography:

Ave, R., Philadelphia, N. and 44663, O. (2016) Print vs. Digital: How we really consume our magazines – 2016 edition. Available at: http://www.freeportpress.com/print-vs-digital-how-we-really-consume-our-magazines/ (Accessed: 26 February 2017).

Jefferey Spivey (2016) 10 magazines you didn’t know went out of print. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrYcCUTV-4Y (Accessed: 26 February 2017).

UK magazines lose print sales by average of 6.3 per cent – full ABC breakdown for all 503 titles (2014) Available at: http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/uk-magazines-lose-print-sales-average-63-cent-full-abc-breakdown-all-503-titles/ (Accessed: 26 February 2017).

Nelson, L., Conway, M., Dovere, E.-I., Isenstadt, A., Bender, B., Johnson, E., Karni, A., Glass, A., Morin, R., Debenedetti, G., Toosi, N., Pradhan, R., Ehley, B., Gerstein, J., Palmeri, T., Meyer, J., Stokols, E., Strauss, D., Wright, A., Sherman, J., Palmer, A., Lippman, D., Dawsey, J., Caygle, H., Shepard, S., Samuelsohn, D., Korecki, N., Cheney, K., Robillard, K., Gold, H., Hesson, T. and Pompeo, J. (2017) Newsweek announces it’s profitable. Available at: http://www.politico.com/media/story/2014/10/newsweek-announces-its-profitable-002947 (Accessed: 26 February 2017).

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