Why the Printed Magazine Isn’t Going Anywhere

Originally posted onto Newsaratti.com 2/2/16

 

In the last 10 or so years, the fate of all printed information has teetered and tottered on the brink of extinction. Will it crumble or will it continue to live off of life support? Should publishers put it out of its misery and pull the plug on print?

To be real, it definitely looks like a solid move to cut down on circulation costs of magazines and newspapers by nixing paper editions, but upon closer inspection, that’s actually the worst move publishers can make. Many assume that due to the explosive surplus of e-reader sales is the reason that it’s no longer feasible to print on paper, because it’s so much cheaper to digitally circulate than it is to procure paper, buy ink, and then mail it out using postal services. Just sounds like a ton of cash could be saved if they just published exclusively online! Anyone who has taken a business class or even just talked to their business savvy uncle knows that production and distribution are the hard hitters when it comes to production costs.

Cut out a huge portion of costs, and then you save more money, and can stay in business, right?

Nope.

Although cutting back on printed publishing is a smarter idea as compared to pulling the plug on the operation entirely, the truth of the matter is that magazines and newspapers make a huge portion of their profits not from subscriber sales, but from advertising. That’s right. Although you think you’re cheating the newspaper and magazine companies by doing all of your reading from publicly read copies available at the local coffee shop and libraries, your pennies don’t fill up that much of their profit pie. When it comes to making money in publishing, it’s all about the ads, baby.

Open up any magazine by Conde Nast, the current top dog of the news and information publishing world. Before you even get close to the table of contents page, you are forced to thumb through page after page of advertisements. It’s no mistake that the magazine in your hands is more ad than story. You may even get lucky and get a free cologne sample! Lucky you!

As was stated earlier, to remain on the cutting edge without actually getting cut, publishers have had to adapt to the explosion of digital demand. IPad and Kindle versions of the latest “Vogue” or “GQ” or “Oprah Magazine” are sent straight to your inbox rather than mailbox because the top brass upstairs running the mags know that that’s what readers want: Ease of access.

Although they have these digital copies in circulation that are completely paper free, that doesn’t mean at any rate that printed on paper copies will stop showing up in your mailbox any time soon.

Personally, my preference is for the physical copy, and I know that I am not alone in that. Running simply off of nostalgia, I love the feeling I get from opening up my mailbox to the latest edition, and then reading something off of a surface that is not a glowing screen. Kicking my feet up with a special interest magazine and literally unplugging from it all is enough to secure at least one subscription from going completely paper free.

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