Reading the headline above may leave you thinking, "There's a solution to the magazine industry's newsstand woes? Why haven't we fixed this a long time ago?"
If only the solution was that simple. But like a tough nut, there's are many layers to the issue that must be cracked, peeled away, before the real meat is revealed and relished.
And with this article, I think we've been doing that, peeling away the layers, one at a time. All of the industry veterans quoted in this article have their own experiences and track record to back up their opinions and perspectives. We must take these, along with the thoughts and ideas of many others, and like a jigsaw puzzle piece them together so that the picture becomes clear and comprehensible.
Conde Nast has made digital publishing headlines for some time as it’s one of the first major magazine publishers to create flawless and device-optimized digital editions of its family of magazine titles using Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite. These editions, available for a variety of smartphones and tablets, also come bundled for print subscribers, but can be had as stand-alone digital subscriptions.
Generally, observers have been focusing on the sad performance of the past five-plus years, where total units are off by more than 40% and dollars by more than 30%. The New Single Copy decided to take a look at our review of the first half of 2003, ten years ago. Then, total unit sales for audited magazines were nearly 474 million copies. This year it's 250,000. That's a drop of 47.2%. Retail dollars went from more than $1.5 billion to $967 million, slipping 36.7%, and that's without any adjustment for inflation. Another point: The preliminary data for the first half of 2003 was based on 537 magazines with any single copy sales. This year the AAM reports contained only 346. Publishers seem to be making an emphatic statement about their confidence or lack of it in the retail marketplac
Last week I had the privilege of attending what was called an executive sustainability summit in the Hearst tower. I went into this meeting thinking that I pretty much understood the important parts of sustainability in relationship to the publishing industry. I am here today to tell that I was wrong and that I didn't know half of what I need to know on what that issue is all about, nor did I have a clue to the legal responsibilities for our corporations in respect to the process.
Barry Diller made an interesting comment on Monday when he said, "I wish I hadn't bought Newsweek, It was a mistake." It seems Mr. Diller does not yet understand that it is the value of the content provided to the public and not the perceived value of the property that makes one publication survive and thrive, while another crashes and burns.
Looking at the New York Times Paywalls over the past two years, Intelligent Content and Forbes leading in Native Advertising.