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Thread: Print publishing death watch

  1. #76
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    i love new york

    you really cant tell print publishing is dying here...there are like 10 papers here. you got the post, daily news, ny times, news day, epoch, metro, voice, etc. and new papers poping up all the time. some of them are free papers that survive on advertising money.

  2. #77
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    we need to put gaga on the cover of kung fu magazine...lol


  3. #78
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    If only she did kung fu....

    heck, i'd put gaga on our cover if she just did any martial arts.
    Gene Ching
    Associate Publisher
    Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine & www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips

  4. #79
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    First Barnes and Noble now Borders is in trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott R. Brown View Post
    This is not a veiled request for compliments

    The short story is I did 325# for one set of 1 rep.

    1) Does this sound gifted, or just lucky?

  5. #80
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    That's a bummer, wenshu

    We should add the end of IKF here.
    Magazines suffer the impact of free media and blame the teenagers
    Teen magazine Sugar closes but Bauer prepares to publish Gaz7etta
    Magazines Magazine buying has been hit by the popularity of free media

    It was a bitter start to the year for the staff of Sugar, the 17-year-old teen magazine which was axed last week after its owner said it was "no longer a viable business". Sugar's tumbling circulation, to an average of 113,320 a month from a high of 422,179 in the first half of 2000, reflected a teenage market which has shrunk 75% in a decade.

    It was already shaping up to be an uncertain 12 months for the sector, with high-profile launches thin on the ground, and imminent consolidation with the long-mooted sale of BBC Magazines and a likely tie-up between Sugar parent Hachette Filipacchi and Hearst, owner of NatMags; and with the iPad turning out to be not quite the pot of gold some publishers suspected. Not yet, anyway.

    "I don't think many publishers would deny that there is a reduced appetite as a whole for paid-for print magazines in the UK," says James Tye, the chief executive of Dennis Publishing. "There's growth in some areas – we've seen it at The Week [owned by Dennis] and at our motoring titles, but there have been [declines] in the teenage sector, men's magazines, the technical and gaming press."

    Hachette Filipacchi blamed the Sugar closure on teenagers spending more time on their mobile phones and the web who "increasingly expect to receive content for free". It is an issue that the music industry – along with most media owners – has been struggling with for some time.

    "It's an overwhelming consumer trend," says Mike Soutar, founder and chief executive of Shortlist Media, the publisher of the free men's weekly of the same name and its "freemium" sister title Stylist, launched in 2009. "You can't have something as culturally significant as digital media and not expect it to change people's habits.

    "It's naive to think young people don't expect to get a huge amount of information digitally, and very difficult for print titles aimed at the marketplace to offer distinctive and valuable content. It's very sad what's happened to Just 17, Smash Hits, and Sugar – it was a golden age of teenage publishing."

    With costs at the thick end of £10m, launches of new paid-for mags have dried up. Condé Nast launched its high-end fashion title Love and a UK edition of the technology magazine Wired two years ago, while IPC launched Good To Know Recipes, to rather less media fanfare, at the beginning of last year.

    All eyes are now on Bauer Media and its planned new men's weekly Gaz7etta, a Grazia for men which dipped its immaculately pedicured toe in the market with a free pilot issue in October. Rumours of an imminent launch were batted back by the publisher, but expect at least another giveaway edition some time soon. Bauer Media's chief executive, Paul Keenan, called it a "challenging space to enter". He's not kidding, as the men's market – outside of free titles Shortlist and Sport – is suffering one of the most dramatic declines of recent years.

    It's a far cry from the first half of the last decade, when Soutar, as the group editorial director of IPC, developed four titles in three years – Nuts, Pick Me Up, Look and TV Easy. Bauer (back then still Emap) launched another four titles between 1999 and 2006 – Heat, Closer, Zoo and Grazia.

    "There was so much launch activity in the early to mid 2000s, that I think a lot of publishers are digesting what they did then," says Nicholas Coleridge, the managing director of Condé Nast UK. "I think a lot of publishers extended themselves with a lot of new titles and I would be surprised if they were looking at a major launch in the next couple of years.

    "We will definitely launch more magazines but it won't be this year because Wired and Love have just appeared. We are working very hard on our digital plans, and we are launching magazines in other countries.

    Condé Nast's UK edition of Wired hit its first year circulation target of 50,000 but only by giving away 10,000 copies. Coleridge expects its most recent paid-for circulation will be slightly up.

    "We had a boom in the 1991-92 recession and although I wouldn't say we've seen a boom in this recession, we certainly haven't seen falls," he adds. "If one of my kids said 'should I go into the magazine industry?', I would definitely say 'yes'. The future will be print and digital."

    Dennis Publishing looked to embrace the digital future with digital-only brands such as its technology title iGizmo, with around 70,000 iPad app downloads to date, and the five-year-old men's mag Monkey, read by a quarter of a million people online a week (and boasting 15,000 app downloads).

    But there is uncertainty over how much of a revenue generator the iPad – or rather, tablet – phenomenon (208m are expected to be sold by 2014) will prove to be. Coleridge, who launched iPad apps for both Vogue and Wired, has predicted that up to 40% of the publisher's sales will one day come from tablets.

    Soutar is not so sure. "It simply hasn't turned out to be the great saviour that even six months ago most publishers were hailing it to be," he reckons. "All the evidence has shown that beyond the novelty of the launch edition, consumers are not happy to pay anything like the same amount [on a tablet] that they might pay for a magazine."

    "There are just not enough tablets out there to generate enough scale to turn the investment publishers are making into real revenues," adds Rob Lynam, head of press trading at the media agency MEC. "There has been a race to put iPad apps out there but when media agencies talk to publishers there just isn't enough critical mass of users to turn into real advertising cash."

    If not for new launches, 2011 is likely to be remembered as the year of the buy-up, with the sale of the majority of BBC Worldwide's magazines – possibly to Bauer Media – thought to be entering its final stages, and Hearst preparing to buy Hachette Filipacchi from Lagardère in a deal valued at £600m. The consolidation is likely to see strong titles thrive at the expense of weaker ones, and make life even harder for independent publishers.

    But hope springs eternal, and not just at Bauer Media's Gaz7etta. The total number of magazine titles published in the UK last year was up 2% on 2009, and 20% more than in 1990. Publishers are nothing if not optimistic. Advertising revenue in the consumer magazine sector was up 5% in 2010 and is forecast to rise another 2% this year.

    This year's total number of copies sold of consumer monthlies is expected to fall by around 5%, with the long-term trend seeing readers move away from monthlies to weeklies, and from specialist to general magazines. But as Rita Lewis, the publisher of Sugar as well as Elle and Elle Decoration, points out: "Different markets have different levels of health. For Elle and Elle Decoration we expect the next set of ABC figures to be incredibly positive."

    Sugar will live on via its website, Sugarscape.com, which has around 430,000 unique users a month, while Elle has looked to offer its readers a "360 degree experience" with complementary content on apps and online. On the same day that it announced the teen magazine's closure, Hachette Filipacchi issued figures showing Elleuk.com had gained its 200,000th Twitter follower. But that will have been no consolation to staff on Sugar.
    Fortunately, we're not after the teen market so much.
    Gene Ching
    Associate Publisher
    Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine & www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips

  6. #81
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    Follow up on B&N

    Why Barnes & Noble’s Nook Subscription Sales May Spell the End of Its Stores
    By Lydia Dishman | January 25, 2011

    Barnes & Noble’s (BKS) latest sales milestone may have execs at world’s largest bookseller doing a victory lap. Just don’t look for them at any of the chain’s 700+ stores. NOOKnewsstand is responsible for the stellar sales with a mix of subscriptions and single copy digital periodical downloads amounting to 650,000. Results like this continue to prove B&N’s investment in its digital strategy is continuing to pay off handsomely.

    It’s certainly very encouraging when you consider that magazine sales on Apple’s (APPL) iPad have taken a nosedive since their debut, according to data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations. For example, WWD’s Memo Pad reported Wired’s first digital edition sold 100,000 copies and was down to just 23,000 five months later. But now that Nooknewsstand is outstripping sales on the top-selling tablet, will B&N’s confidence spell the end of brick-and-mortar bookstores as we know them?

    Barnes & Noble’s stores are becoming more and more like placeholders for digital gadgets and non-book items. Indeed, walk into any B&N store and it’s hard to miss the bright, white shrine to Nook visible immediately after crossing the threshold. And real estate for paper books in B&N’s stores continues to shrink in other ways as tables formerly laden with the latest good reads have been supplanted by toys, games, greeting cards, desk accessories, and the like.

    Laments from more Luddite bookworms notwithstanding, e-readers are selling like hotcakes. B&N’s comparable-store sales might have posted an impressive 9.7 percent increase — the first holiday gains in five years — but the charge was largely led by Nook. On the e-commerce side, Barnes & Noble.com’s comps increased a whopping 78 percent compared to last year’s holiday selling season. All the more reason the C-suite may be considering a more a seismic shift.

    In fact, it’s already in progress. B&N may be blowing smoke around what it calls “small organizational changes,” but prominent heads have rolled this week. PW reported that veteran VP of merchandising Bob Wietrak and Marcella Smith, director of small press and vendor relations, left the company along with a number of buyers including Lee Stern who was responsible for cookbooks (not many of which are available as e-books yet). Reports say up to 50 positions in the buying group were eliminated.

    PW’s report says one publisher noted, “Someone has to be in charge of getting books into the stores.” Maybe not, if B&N’s ultimate goal is to move the entire business into the ether.
    NOOK seems to be emerging as the tablet platform. Interesting...
    Gene Ching
    Associate Publisher
    Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine & www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips

  7. #82
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    Down goes Borders

    I'm wondering how this will effect our newsstand distribution. Won't be good, that's for sure.

    Subscribe now.

    No Place Left to Run: Out of Options, Borders Files for Bankruptcy
    Feb. 18 2011 - 12:55 pm | 0 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments
    By INDER SIDHU

    Been to a Borders bookstore lately? If not, you better hurry. As part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing this week, the book and magazine retailer announced that it will close more than 200 superstores nationwide by mid-April.

    On second thought, you probably don’t have to rush just yet. Unless you live in Wyoming, chances are there will still be a Borders store near you come May—possibly more than one. This is the byproduct of the organization’s ill-advised decision a few years ago to open hundreds of new stores, many within walking distance of one another. Instead of strengthening Borders, the strategy left the company burdened with excessive retail space and inventory. In San Francisco, for example, there are two Borders superstores in and around historic Union Square. In less time than it takes to consume a coffee purchased in one store you could walk to the other to buy a magazine.

    Convenient? Perhaps. Strategically competitive? Not exactly.

    Borders, like Blockbuster and other struggling retailers, seems optimized for a bygone era. But its nemesis in bricks-and-mortar book sales, Barnes & Noble, is competitively positioned. Given that both sell the same books from the same publishers in similar retail environments, you might wonder why Borders is bleeding cash while Barnes & Noble is holding its own. The answer has everything to do with Borders’ failure to react appropriately to two market transitions—first the shift to online book selling, then the embrace of electronic readers.

    In each case, Borders failed to develop a new business model while trying to perfect its traditional one. Doing both helped Barnes & Noble hold its ground against Amazon.com, WalMart and others who compete effectively in book selling. Doing only one doomed Borders. Here’s why.

    As long ago as 2002, when Amazon.com posted its first profit, it was clear that retail book selling was a business under siege. Since then, thousands of independent booksellers across the nation have closed, many of which were longstanding fixtures in their communities. Think Kroch’s and Brentano’s of Chicago and Coliseum Books of New York. Most booksellers simply could not compete with the price and convenience of Amazon.com or the bigger, national chains. Now all brick-and-mortar book sellers are challenged, especially as the market transitions once more.

    Last June marked a significant milestone in the book business. Then, Amazon.com, the world’s largest book seller, announced that sales of books for its Kindle e-reader outnumbered those for hardcover books for the first time. It wasn’t an unexpected achievement, but a noteworthy one nonetheless. It confirmed what prognosticators have predicted for a decade: sooner or later, the majority of all titles—from textbooks to cook books, fictional classics to political biographies—will be distributed in electronic format.

    For Borders, this was a crushing blow. Unlike Barnes & Noble, which made steep investments in online books sales and digital technology, Borders did not plan adequately for the future. Take online book sales. More than a decade ago, Borders wasn’t sure how to play in the online world. After toying with an e-commerce site, it outsourced online sales to Amazon. Talk about collaborating with the enemy. Not until 2008 did Borders recognize that online book-selling had to become a core competency of the company. Since then, Borders has struggled to catch-up. Today, online hardcopy sales generate less than 3 percent of revenue for the company—less than one-third of what Barnes & Noble derives from online sales.

    When it comes to e-readers, Borders is even further behind. While it spun cycles mulling what to sell in its in-store canteens, Barnes & Noble made important strides developing a competitive e-reader. As of January 2011, Barnes & Noble has shipped more than 2 million Nooks, which represent one of fastest growing parts of Barnes & Nobles’ business. As for Borders, it fumbled on its e-reader strategy. It decided against creating a me-too device, choosing instead to offer the Kobo, Velocity Micro Cruz and Franklin AnyBook devices from other companies. Unfortunately for it, none of these have become big sellers. If you order a cup of coffee at a Borders canteen today, chances are you’ll see more customers with iPads or Nooks than Kobos.

    In that moment, you can appreciate the wisdom of developing a new business model that will carry you in the future while simultaneously optimizing the existing business model that keeps your business aloft today. Doing both is simply good business. Doing one at the expense of the other is not.

    Inder Sidhu is the Senior Vice President of Strategy & Planning for Worldwide Operations at Cisco, and the author of Doing Both: How Cisco Captures Today’s Profits and Drives Tomorrow’s Growth. Author proceeds from sales of Doing Both go to charity. Follow Inder on Twitter at @indersidhu.
    Gene Ching
    Associate Publisher
    Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine & www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips

  8. #83
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    Pretty scary how fast things are changing, creating winners and losers in the market, in many ways creating a mass underclass. Not too inspiring.

  9. #84
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    Our local Borders is about 5 minutes from my house. It is where I buy all my books and magazines. I'm very sad to see this happen.
    Richard A. Tolson
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/357219314344817/

    45 years of training and still not there. But every once in a while I get it right!

    Recovering Forms Junkie! Even my twelve step program has four roads!

    Yes, I fight in silk pajamas. And I have probably broken more opponent's ribs in my silk pajamas than many others rolling around in their knickers and mittens!

  10. #85
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    This is as was fortold

    I've been in the book business for years, as has my wife, and the fall of the megabookstores like Borders and Barnes & Noble was predicted when they first emerged. There's just not enough margin in the book business for that kind of business model to succeed. There never was. That was a problem even before the rise of tablets like Kindle or iPad. All the small independents knew exactly what would happen. The megastores would come in and smother the indies with lower prices, better locations and spacious stores, but they wouldn't be able to sustain themselves on such low mark-up, nor would they be able to foster a loyal customer base with centralized buying. Then they would collapse under their own sheer weight, and bring print literacy down. It's tragic really, a classic example of how capitalism can destroy a society when unchecked. In this case, there was no real way to control it. There were some initial lawsuits but nothing significant ever came of them.

    I just went by our local Borders, hoping to find the latest National Geographic because it has a Shaolin article. It was in chaos with the store closing sale. Across the street, there used to be a Barnes & Noble, but it closed recently. The utter audacity of Borders and Barnes & Noble opening right across the street from each other shows the pompous attitude of those franchises. There's an old African saying "When two elephants are fighting, the grass - they will suffer."

    Now there's no large newsstands in Fremont, CA beyond the supermarkets, Target and Walmart.

    That's right. I can't even buy our magazine in my own 'hood.

    Gene Ching
    Associate Publisher
    Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine & www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips

  11. #86
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    RIP Encyclopaedia Britannica in print

    I haven't been posting here for a year because it's too depressing

    March 13, 2012, 5:54 pm
    After 244 Years, Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops the Presses
    By JULIE BOSMAN

    After 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print.

    Those coolly authoritative, gold-lettered reference books that were once sold door-to-door by a fleet of traveling salesmen and displayed as proud fixtures in American homes will be discontinued, company executives said.

    In an acknowledgment of the realities of the digital age — and of competition from the Web site Wikipedia — Encyclopaedia Britannica will focus primarily on its online encyclopedias and educational curriculum for schools. The last print version is the 32-volume 2010 edition, which weighs 129 pounds and includes new entries on global warming and the Human Genome Project.

    “It’s a rite of passage in this new era,” Jorge Cauz, the president of Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., a company based in Chicago, said in an interview. “Some people will feel sad about it and nostalgic about it. But we have a better tool now. The Web site is continuously updated, it’s much more expansive and it has multimedia.”

    In the 1950s, having the Encyclopaedia Britannica on the bookshelf was akin to a station wagon in the garage or a black-and-white Zenith in the den, a possession coveted for its usefulness and as a goalpost for an aspirational middle class. Buying a set was often a financial stretch, and many families had to pay for it in monthly installments.

    But in recent years, print reference books have been almost completely overtaken by the Internet and its vast spread of resources, including specialized Web sites and the hugely popular — and free — online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

    Since it was started 11 years ago, Wikipedia has moved a long way toward replacing the authority of experts with the wisdom of the crowds. The site is now written and edited by tens of thousands of contributors around the world, and it has been gradually accepted as a largely accurate and comprehensive source, even by many scholars and academics.

    Wikipedia also regularly meets the 21st-century mandate of providing instantly updated material. And it has nearly four million articles in English, including some on pop culture topics that would not be considered worthy of a mention in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

    Mr. Cauz said that he believed Britannica’s competitive advantage with Wikipedia came from its prestigious sources, its carefully edited entries and the trust that was tied to the brand.

    “We have very different value propositions,” Mr. Cauz said. “Britannica is going to be smaller. We cannot deal with every single cartoon character, we cannot deal with every love life of every celebrity. But we need to have an alternative where facts really matter. Britannica won’t be able to be as large, but it will always be factually correct.”

    But one widely publicized study, published in 2005 by Nature, called into question Britannica’s presumed accuracy advantage over Wikipedia. The study said that out of 42 competing entries, Wikipedia made an average of four errors in each article, and Britannica three. Britannica responded with a lengthy rebuttal saying the study was error-laden and “completely without merit.”

    The Britannica, the oldest continuously published encyclopedia in the English language, has become a luxury item with a $1,395 price tag. It is frequently bought by embassies, libraries and research institutions, and by well-educated, upscale consumers who felt an attachment to the set of bound volumes. Only 8,000 sets of the 2010 edition have been sold, and the remaining 4,000 have been stored in a warehouse until they are bought.

    “I spent many hundreds of hours with those gold-embossed Britannica volumes on my lap, with pages you could actually turn, not click or swipe.”

    — A.J. Jacobs

    The 2010 edition had more than 4,000 contributors, including Arnold Palmer (who wrote the entry on the Masters tournament) and Panthea Reid, professor emeritus at Louisiana State University and author of the biography “Art and Affection: A Life of Virginia Woolf” (who wrote about Virginia Woolf).

    Sales of the Britannica peaked in 1990, when 120,000 sets were sold in the United States. But now print encyclopedias account for less than 1 percent of the Britannica’s revenue. About 85 percent of revenue comes from selling curriculum products in subjects like math, science and the English language; 15 percent comes from subscriptions to the Web site, the company said.

    About half a million households pay a $70 annual fee for the online subscription, which includes access to the full database of articles, videos, original documents and to the company’s mobile applications. At least one other general-interest encyclopedia in the United States, the World Book, is still printing a 22-volume yearly edition, said Jennifer Parello, a spokeswoman for World Book Inc. She declined to provide sales figures but said the encyclopedia was bought primarily by schools and libraries.

    Gary Marchionini, the dean of the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said the fading of print encyclopedias was “an inexorable trend that will continue.”

    “There’s more comprehensive material available on the Web,” Mr. Marchionini said. “The thing that you get from an encyclopedia is one of the best scholars in the world writing a description of that phenomenon or that object, but you’re still getting just one point of view. Anything worth discussing in life is worth getting more than one point of view.”

    Many librarians say that while they have rapidly shifted money and resources to digital materials, print still has a place. Academic libraries tend to keep many sets of specialized encyclopedias on their shelves, like volumes on Judaica, folklore, music or philosophy, or encyclopedias that are written in foreign languages and unavailable online.

    At the Portland Public Library in Maine, there are still many encyclopedias that the library orders on a regular basis, sometimes every year, said Sonya Durney, a reference librarian. General-interest encyclopedias are often used by students whose teachers require them to occasionally cite print sources, just to practice using print.

    “They’re used by anyone who’s learning, anyone who’s new to the country, older patrons, people who aren’t comfortable online,” Ms. Durney said. “There’s a whole demographic of people who are more comfortable with print.”

    But many people are discovering that the books have outlived their usefulness. Used editions of encyclopedias are widely available on Craigslist and eBay: more than 1,400 listings for Britannica products were posted on eBay this week.

    Charles Fuller, a geography professor who lives in the Chicago suburbs, put his 1992 edition on sale on Craigslist last Sunday. For years, he has neglected the print encyclopedias, he said in an interview, and now prefers to use his iPhone to look up facts quickly. He and his wife are downsizing and relocating to California, he said, and the Encyclopaedia Britannica will not be coming with them, a loss he acknowledges with a hint of wistfulness.

    “They’re not obsolete,” Mr. Fuller said. “When I’m doing serious research, I still use the print books. And they look really beautiful on the bookshelves.”
    Gene Ching
    Associate Publisher
    Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine & www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips

  12. #87
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    one thing print books will always have over electric books are the room for and the ease of adding footnotes, for yourself, as well as for future readers of that book.

    I buy a lot of used books and just love when i am reading philosophy and have someone from past times' input as to their angle of understanding. it can be a great boon at times.
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  13. #88
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    Powell's Books is the best book store on Earth. City of Books.
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  14. #89
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    I've been trying to stay away from this thread

    It's too depressing.

    Newsweek's Print Shutdown Not A Sign Of Broader Magazine Troubles
    AP | By RYAN NAKASHIMA Posted: 10/19/2012 12:19 am EDT

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Newsweek's decision to stop publishing a print edition after 80 years and bet its life entirely on a digital future may be more a commentary on its own problems than a definitive statement on the health of the magazine industry.

    Magazine ad revenue in the U.S. is seen rising 2.6 percent this year to $18.3 billion, according to research firm eMarketer. That would be the third increase in three years, driven mainly by gains in digital ad sales, though print ads are expected to be flat.

    Paid magazine subscriptions were up 1.1 percent in the first half of the year, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. And while single-copy sales at newsstands are down 9.6 percent, overall circulation - the bulk of which is in print - is steady compared to a year ago.

    The water is so warm for the magazine industry that in the first nine months of the year, 181 new magazines were launched while only about a third as many, or 61, closed, according to publication database MediaFinder.com.

    By several measures, the magazine business has stabilized, albeit at a lower level, since the Great Recession ended three years ago.

    For some, that casts a harsher light on Newsweek's decision to abandon print - affecting the nearly 1.4 million Newsweek subscribers who get their copy each week in the mail. They say it speaks to the magazine's trouble connecting with and keeping its readers.

    That brings to mind some questionable covers, like the July 2011 what-if image depicting what Princess Diana would have looked like at age 50, or last month's "Muslim Rage" cover depicting angry protesters, which was roundly mocked on social networks like Twitter.

    Newsweek is using a difficult print ad environment as an "excuse" for its decision to end print runs, said Samir Husni, director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism. He lays the blame at the feet of Tina Brown, the editor who took control of Newsweek when it merged with the news website she ran, The Daily Beast, two years ago.

    "Tina Brown took Newsweek in the wrong direction," Husni said. "Newsweek did not die, Newsweek committed suicide."

    To be sure, the problems were acute by the time Brown took control. Newsweek's circulation had plummeted from about 3.1 million in 2007 to 1.8 million in 2010, when The Washington Post Co. sold the magazine to stereo equipment magnate Sidney Harman for $1. Harman later placed Newsweek into a joint venture with IAC/InterActiveCorp's The Daily Beast website in an effort to trim the magazine's losses and widen its online audience.

    This year, total circulation is down to about 1.5 million, less than half of what it was five years earlier, even including about 29,000 digital copies.

    Meanwhile, circulation of rival Time magazine is down from about 4 million in 2006 to 3.3 million this year, a decline of just 19 percent.

    General news format magazines have been challenged with the rise of news reading on the Internet, much of which is free. And Newsweek isn't the first to drop its print product. US News & World Report dropped its weekly print edition years ago and now focuses on the Web and special print editions, such as a guide to the best graduate schools. SmartMoney announced in June that it was going all-digital.

    Yet others are succeeding. The Economist has nearly doubled its circulation to 1.6 million from 844,000 a year ago. The Week is up to 541,000 from 525,000.

    And unlike the bold move by Newsweek, many publications are taking steps to add digital formats while maintaining the print product, which is still the mainstay of their business.

    Paul Canetti, the founder and CEO of MAZ, a company that helps magazines publish digital editions, says he tells prospective clients to "dip their toes" into digital publishing and "wade in as the market demands it." He notes only about a quarter of Americans own tablet computers, which have become a popular way to read online magazines.

    "Maybe what they're really facing is an audience-connection problem and not really a print-versus-digital problem at all," he said.

    Going all-digital could solve many problems associated with the print magazine business. For instance, magazine publishers charge advertisers according to a so-called "rate card" that is based on a promised number of paying subscribers, called a "rate base." If subscriptions fall, publishers then must spend a lot of money mailing potential customers and offering heavy discounts just to keep advertising revenue from falling.

    In contrast, online advertising usually requires advertisers to pay only for ads that are seen or clicked on by readers, a number that is easily measurable in real time and that doesn't require the discounting of subscription prices.

    Moving online could solve that problem, which hit Newsweek in particular, said Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism at the Pew Research Center in Washington.

    "Newsweek's problems came from spending an enormous amount of money to maintain a guaranteed rate base," he said. "They ended up spending millions each year to try to reach a number of readers they needed to reach."

    Newsweek is betting that there will be enough growth in the number of tablet users to make up for the fact that when its print runs end with the Dec. 31 issue, a lot of subscribers will be left without a way to get the magazine.

    The magazine expects that the number of tablet users in the U.S. will exceed 70 million this year, up from 13 million just two years ago, Newsweek spokesman Andrew Kirk said.

    "We have reached a tipping point in the industry at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach ... readers in an all-digital format," he said.

    However, it's a choice that doesn't reflect the general health of the industry, said Mary Berner, president of The Association of Magazine Media.

    She said she doesn't want a decision by one publication to be an indication that the entire magazine industry "is going down the toilet."

    "That's simply not true," she said. "The experience of reading the print version of magazines is not going away."
    Gene Ching
    Associate Publisher
    Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine & www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips

  15. #90
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    A year end ttt

    This article gives a good overview of how other magazines are reacting to the shift in publishing trends. So what do you think? 50 shades of Kung Fu Tai Chi?

    For magazines, another year of transition
    In 2012 their focus continued to shift from print to digital
    By Bill Cromwell
    December 11, 2012

    The defining magazine story of 2012, the closure of the print edition of Newsweek, foreshadows what may be the most volatile year for magazines yet.

    More titles will shift to online-only, and even those that maintain their print editions will look increasingly to circulation and digital advertising to make up for the steep declines in print ads, which show no signs of slowdown.

    News and celebrity magazines look especially vulnerable, as the web threatens to make their format obsolete.

    Certainly it’s an alarm that’s been sounded before.

    But the demise of Newsweek, one of the best-known brands in magazines and one of the biggest to fall victim to the digital stampede, has emphasized the looming problem like never before.

    The industry is in deep flux.

    “Although people will always–hopefully–want to read what we now call a magazine, magazines have to stop thinking about themselves in the traditional way and have to start thinking of themselves more as content providers, with the content being distributed on the platform most suitable for the content itself–print, web, tablet, smartphone, etc.,” says Martin S. Walker, chairman at Walker Communications, a print consultancy.

    In the coming year, magazines will be focusing more and more on furthering their brands rather than simply selling a print product.

    Expect more deals such as the one reached this month between Cosmopolitan and Harlequin. The two are collaborating on a series of erotic digital books, riding the popularity of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” but in a modern format. Cosmo is already pushing the books as the perfect mobile reading material.

    Magazines are revamping their web sites to keep current with social media trends. Glamour, for instance, recently overhauled its site to give it more of a Pinterest feel, with bigger pictures and more emphasis on “sharing” images and articles on social networks.

    Interactivity is also a hugely popular trend with the print product. Earlier this year Ladies Home Journal began relying on readers to generate much of its content, giving the magazine more of a blog feel.

    For its December issue, Esquire turned every page interactive by using Netpage, an app that allows readers to use their cell phones to take a photo of the page and then interact with the content as they would on a tablet device.

    “[Such developments] make magazines more relevant to a digital savvy audience/reader and provides larger audience and more upscale audience for advertisers,” Walker says.

    That’s something magazines need right now, because ad revenue is not coming out of its tailspin.

    Every major forecaster predicts that spending for the medium will be down next year. Pivotal Research Group predicts a 6.7 percent decline, after a 6.8 percent dip this year.

    And ZenithOptimedia predicts a 3.2 percent decrease, after falling 3.4 percent this year.

    In the short term digital gains will not offset the print losses in ad spending. Longer term, however, that may be a possibility if magazines begin gaining not only substantial advertiser spending but also circulation revenue from tablets and other online editions.

    Tablet adoption is expected to reach 50 percent of the U.S. population by the end of next year.

    “Nearly 40.0 percent of tablet owners accessed magazine content on these devices each month, a trend potentially redefining the digital market for publishers,” notes ZenithOptimedia in its year-end forecast.

    The road to increased adoption of digital magazines will be bumpy, and Newsweek will not be the only casualty.

    Readers predicted in a Media Life poll earlier this year that at least one celebrity title will fold in the coming year, and buyers are watching Time, the only traditional newsweekly still printing, closely for clues to its future.

    Men’s titles and women’s service magazines have also been struggling at a time when so much fashion, lifestyle and entertainment information is available on the web.

    But Walker thinks that a few categories will continue to thrive in print.

    “Magazines devoted to long-form journalism, such as The New Yorker, and fashion and beauty and home furnishing magazines where print provides the best product illustrations” are in the best shape heading into 2013, he says.
    Gene Ching
    Associate Publisher
    Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine & www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips

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