Is the magazine industry falling over too?

This week I was invited to give a presentation to the staff of NZ Doctor magazine and a couple of its sister publications. I was asked to reflect on the state of the magazine industry and the future of news and journalism.

The slideshow is available for download, but today a story about the potential sale or closure of Newsweek brings the issue into stark relief.

According to news reports Newsweek is losing money fast and if a buyer is not found soon, it may close, but perhaps it’s not the only title to be facing an uncertain future.

I recently got an email from the publisher Conde Nast offering me heavily discounted subscriptions to most of its magazine titles. Unfortunately, it seems that because I live in New Zealand I can’t take advantage of this bargain.

Wired for $US 10 and The New Yorker for $40, a delight for magazine readers. But, why would Conde Nast do this? I can only think it’s because the magazines are not doing well and they want to shore up circulation figures to shill the advertisers.

News stand sales of magazines are also falling, around 7 per cent last year in Australia and by even more in the United States.

1. Cosmopolitan – 1,616,908 (down 7.8 percent)

2. People – 1,319,350 (down 12.77 percent)

3. Woman’s World – 1,175,550 (down 8.31 percent)

4. First – 1,066,167 (down 9.29 percent)

5. Us Weekly – 843,479 (down 2.98 percent)

6. In Touch Weekly – 745,123 (down 17.67 percent)

7. O, the Oprah Magazine – 693,054 (down 5.58 percent)

8. Family Circle – 673,286 (down 22.55 percent)

9. In Style – 625,589 (down 20.13 percent)

10. Star – 601,115 (down 14.29 percent)

Industry types are saying that the slump in advertising revenues that dogged news and magazine publishers in 2009 might now be over and that sales are trending up. Figures seem to be still reasonable with the top four US titles all still selling over 1 million copies, but the percentage drops are huge for some.

Perhaps there’s not many real magazine buffs out there anymore, but I for one will not be curling up in bed with an iPad anytime soon. I like to read a magazine and to do the puzzles with a pencil.

About these ads

One Response to Is the magazine industry falling over too?

  1. kutarere says:

    I am not a great mag reader and subscribe to just a couple, and perhaps you have commented on the following elsewhere, but what do you think the reasons might be? Could it be a sign of The Times (sorry!) and magazines are one of the ‘luxuries’ people have stopped buying because of tighter belting, or might it be a change of content in response to a (perhaps incorrect) perception that ‘it’s what people want’, or, horror of horrors, might it a lowering standards of journalism?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,425 other followers

%d bloggers like this: