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Meanwhile, in magazines ... chop-chop

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by 2muchcoffeeman, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    From MediaBistro's Revolving Door e-mail newsletter ...

  2. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    I don't have time to look up statistics, but whole titles folding is not uncommon in the magazine industry. Something like only 50% of new titles will survive the first year.

    However, it's a bit more surprising to see the big titles from the big houses go under. And magazines are facing the same declining ad revenues and staff freezes/cutbacks as newspapers. But I do believe they (especially the lifestyle mags) have a better future than newspapers, because they are niche publications.
  3. mediaguy

    mediaguy Well-Known Member

    I doubt it's even 50 percent. I'd estimate the first-year mortality rate is even higher.
  4. Reacher

    Reacher Member

    Magazines face many of the same challenges as newspapers. Web vs. print. The dip in display advertising. Attracting young readers. It's a tough business, tougher during a recession, obviously. But these are ongoing concerns. The difference is that magazines don't depend on classified ads the way newspapers do. I think that the sudden move of a huge chunk of the classified ad market to free or inexpensive Web sites is what has caused the current newspaper death spiral.
  5. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Reacher, it's that and also the fact that most magazines don't have to be as timely as a newspaper is. You don't have to wait for the morning paper to get a boxscore, because you can just fire up a web browser. A magazine that offers enterprise stories and after-the-fact analysis faces a threat from the Internet, but it's not as acute.

    The magazines mentioned in the first post were niche magazines. It will be very worrisome when you hear that magazines like Entertainment Weekly or Vanity Fair are folding. The first magazine mentioned was definitely a casualty of the economy, not of the magazine business. When we were in a housing boom, they launched all these titles to take advantage, and there was an audience with money buying them. A lot of new home owners, people doing renovations and an economy in which people had some spare money to spend on a magazine. They oversaturated the market with those sheleter titles, and now that we are in a housing bust and have a bad economy, they are trimming away the fat that no one is buying anymore. Those first magazines the story mentioned are getting pruned for the same reason Home Depot's stock is suffering compared to where it was during the housing boom.

    Magazines have also tended to always do this. If a niche is successful, they copy cat it to an extreme and then some of the copy cat titles end up casualties. It happened when Maxim and FHM created a new niche that did really well. There were a zillion copy cats launched and after a while most of them folded.
  6. Reacher

    Reacher Member

    Good points. I don't think you can compare the current state of the newspaper and magazine industries. The magazine industry is facing challenges and an economic downturn, but it's still pretty much business as usual. Newspapers are experiencing an unprecedented seismic shift in the industry. I think it's a valid question to ask if newspapers are still a viable business. Honestly, I don't think so. When the dust settles, there won't be much left of the newspaper industry, I'm afraid.
  7. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    I might be biased -- Mrs. Editude works for a niche magazine -- but I think one-subject products likely will fare better than general-interest publications (Time, in 2008?). And having a particular point of view -- Vanity Fair and the New Yorker come to mind -- creates a workable niche, for advertisers as well as readers.
  8. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Excellent point.
  9. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Niche publishing has been a successful trend for years and these types of publications, although not as big as the established general-interest publications, can become tidy little cash cows. The more narrow the niche, the better. I have been involved with this type of publishing, and I've seen the good and the bad. Advertisers are buying this line of thinking more and more, too. It used to be that niche publications had to rely on smaller, endemic advertisers. It's somewhat easier to get consumer advertisers to look at small publications, though, if you have a very targeted, good demographic for them. The sell goes like this: "With the large publication, they get it and don't even look at half the issues. They have always gotten it and they just get it out of habit. Our niche publication is tied to their interest or passion or hobby, and they actively sought it out, so they spend more time with the magazine. You are getting a better reader." (No, I am not in advertising, but I have seen it done).

    It only doesn't work when too many publications jump on board a niche. That is also less likely with narrower niches, though, because publishers can see straight off that the market can't absorb more than the one or two publications that beat them to the party.
  10. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

  11. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

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