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?

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3 responses

28 02 2010
Amy Morgan

I think that the magazine industry has a good reason to be concerned. I personally still love having an actual magazine that I can hold in my hand versus looking at something online most of the time, but I know that I am in the minority on that account these days. As far as other techniques that magazines could use, I know that eReaders are becoming really popular these days as the push to go digital increases. Barnes and Noble have a section on their website devoted just to eBookz, but they also have some magazines. Right now, there is a limited selection, but this could be a step in the digital direction that more magazines could do to tap into customers who do prefer digital methods before try to jump head first into social media outlets.

6 03 2010
Dustin Woolridge

I happen to know first-hand how cheap magazine subscriptions have gotten, as I subscribed to Newsweek last year & only paid around $25 for a whole year — that is dirt cheap.
Magazines could further advertise these cheap subscription prices online, where more people would look. Advertising it on little cards inside the magazine doesn’t do a whole lot of good considering not very many people still buy magazines at newsstands or the supermarket for the high retail price. If the magazine industry wants to stay afloat, they can make a lot more revenue from subscriptions rather than retail, so they should go to greater lengths to advertise this, particularly online.

25 03 2010
Aaren Cecere

Just like Amy, I would rather read a magazine in print than online, but I do think that they have to put more time and focus into their online sections because the internet allows you to update things immediately, and if your subscribers want to know what’s up-to-date or follow up on a story, your website should account for that. I do think that lower subscription rates will keep their followers, and even bring back a few subscribes that had to cancel previously because the prices got too high in past years and yes this will need to be advertised more like Dustin points out. However, with the economy the way it is and the social media and online sources exploding in every industry, it’s going to be very hard to keep the print production side of the magazine industry afloat. Maybe making the magazines themselves a more interactive place for the consumer… although they are already targeted directly to their audience, if people could influence stories more or have some input, it might be beneficial. For instance, HerCampus is an online magazine but people from each university that has a site can create their own story ideas or even help in writing them.

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