What Changes are Being Made?

28 02 2010

The rise of social media tools such as the iPad, e-readers, and iPhone apps have made the magazine industry even more vulnerable to declining print sales.  Efforts to increase revenue and readership have long been underway.  Social media tools such as blogs and media kits can only go so far.  The magazine industry is taking matters into their own hands.

With the economy how it is, consumers have turned to taking advantage of the cheap subscription prices instead of paying full price at newsstands.  Many magazines are decreasing their newsstand circulations and focusing, instead, on those subscribers.

Another effort underway is a magazine marketing pact by several publishing companies.  These companies are working together to improve marketing techniques within the industry as a whole.  Although the marketing strategies have not been disclosed, there are talks of a digitized division.  In a time when everything is going to digital, it seems like a given that the publishers would need to focus on that aspect.  After all, if they didn’t think about the increased use of social media, it would be a foolish move.

Making tweaks, no matter how big or small, is necessary in keeping the magazine industry above water.  Otherwise, it’s just another lost industry in a time of heavy technological change.  What other techniques do you think would help the magazine industry maintain/gain consumers as well as increase profit?


How Important is Two-Way Conversation?

27 02 2010

All too often a company starts using social media tools such as blogs, facebook pages, and twitter accounts and then fails to keep up with them.  The point of these tools is to provide a two-way conversation between constituents and companies.  Not responding to comments or responding too late, leaves consumers and shareholders wondering about the happenings of a company, ultimately leaving a question of credibility.

Last week, Rolling Stone Magazine’s website displayed a message saying ‘What are you looking for?’.  Immediately after discovery, Twitter posts began popping up as well as blog posts concerning the reasoning behind Rolling Stone’s site message.

Although I am sure they were more concerned with getting the site back up, not responding to posts and comments escalated into skepticism of the magazine’s business actions (like the loss of funds and forgetting to renew the domain name).  It wasn’t until a news article that people’s skepticism was put to rest.  Even now there isn’t much information, but the site has gone back up.  Perhaps they should devise a new social media strategy to ensure there are no questions left unanswered.  Companies that keep up on their social media tools leave followers with clarification and satisfaction.  Do you think there is any time that a company should steer clear of responding?  If so, when?

Cross-promotion: Good or Bad?

26 02 2010

With the economy in the state it is, it’s hard to believe any company out there is actually thriving.  Magazine publishers are one of the industries that are feeling the effects and making any changes necessary to earn a profit.  A tactic that seems to be popular for publishers and companies, alike, is cross-promotion.  Recently, Conde Nast announced their launching of travel packages through their publication, Conde Nast Traveler, in an attempt to increase revenue.

Among others are Time, Inc.’s shopping search engine, Stylefeeder, and Hachette Filipacchi’s Woman’s Day, CookVook.  These developments of cross-industry promotion are not new, but with the onslaught of increased web use, technological innovation, and social media tools the magazine industry has jumped at the chance to break down industry barriers.  Do you think this is a good idea for publishing companies?  Or is cross-promotion threatening the magazine industry?

Jet Magazine, Feb. and Mar. Issue, Gabrielle Union

Some magazines have opted to redo their entire look and focus instead of turning to outside industries for increased profit.  For example, Jet Magazine has turned toward revamping to appeal to a younger audience.  Although it is hard to say whether this strategy is effective, at least it maintains the prime focus of the magazine industry: magazines.

I can’t help but wonder about those who take a career in magazine production because they are passionate about it, whether they be journalists, designers, photographers, etc.. With such drastic changes coming about, what do you think the implications will be for those professions specific to magazine production?

How Relevant is Social Media to Different Types of Magazines?

24 02 2010

When it comes to social media and the level of use by a magazine, audience plays a tremendous role.  Political and business publications have jumped right on the social media craze.  Time magazine has provided their consumers with a free online newsletter (which includes daily news, their weekly top 10, and photos of the week),  mobile apps (featuring blogs, news sections and popular articles), their facebook app which was innovated back in 2007, and a media kit that gives multiple countries an editorial calendar and biographies.  The consumers of publications, like Time, are in the position to have to keep up with such technologies; it is their industry after all.  Most are technologically savvy and have the means to be.

One type of magazine that really shows how important audience is in the implementation of social networking tools are outdoors’ magazines.  When looking at sites such as Bassin’, Blade and Boating World the social media use, if any, was usually a blog and/or forum, maybe a media kit, and feeds.  Although I was unable to go to every single outdoors magazine site, this seemed to be the norm.  Perhaps this is because the followers of such publications are usually outdoors.  Do you think that with the heightened use of mobile devices, magazines dealing with outdoors will begin moving toward more use of social media tools?

Are Print Publications Going Extinct?

23 02 2010

With the rapid growth of the Internet and the innovation of new technologies comes speculation on the staying power of print publications.  Recently, Anita Malik, former editor of East West Magazine announced the end to the publication that had been running off and on since 2003.  Although, East West had not been in existence for that long in comparison to other popular magazines, it gained a cross-cultural following that many people of diversified backgrounds could relate to.  The ending of East West exemplifies the struggle of print in a world where technology has taken great strides.  Increased use of the Internet and mobile technologies, such as the iPhone and the up and coming iPad, and not to mention the focus on ‘Going Green’, it’s no wonder why magazines have taken the initiative to jump on the social media bandwagon.  Last week, Wired Magazine announced their summer release of their iPad edition.  Wired’s iPad edition provides digital versions of each Wired publication.  These digital publications will be like their printed magazines, but with the addition of interactive elements that include a scroll bar to see all pages, the expansion of photos and pictures within the magazine, and full views of particular features in advertisements.  In addition, many social characteristics make up the iPad edition including the ability to clip articles to send friends, add articles to your facebook page, or even tweet about an article.  Below, I have posted the video demo (check it out!).  It is unclear whether mobile magazines will be well received, but with the rapid adoption of mobile technologies, I suspect this one won’t be any different.  The question is: will other magazines adopt and how quickly? Also, will print eventually go extinct because of these new tools?