Magazine Business

The truth about magazines

Here are the truths of the magazine business. As more print journals move to the digital age. How do you make an income? Readership of entire periodicals are down, put specific articles are up. We see that the subscriptions are only successful to a few publications. Content will always be king, but is it the enough to save a publication. It makes it difficult for advertisers to commitment to entire publication when only one or two articles are only going to be read. And the rest is never seen by the majority. For the foreseeable future they will be print publications, however, they must stand out from the crowd.

For us going with a large format, tabloid size, full color, on recyclable paper was critical to success in the marketplace. It is so big it will get noticed. Once the reader opens it up they see the large photos than they are integrated by the full length in-depth interviews. Not just a few short questions with even shorter answers. But with detailed questions that reveal who the subject is and how they see the world. Perhaps these exposes reveal life lessons shared to teach and to inspire.

As an editor I am all about the content, and not much interested in the ads. They are there to sell brands and products. I am all about the interviews, About Face is not another same city magazine selling places rather than people. I do see these city mags attempting to do what we do, but they a not the same publication. And AboutFace is not a city magazine of place. It is all about people.

The future is digital content. For publishers to pay the bills they will start to charge to place content. Look at social media it not so much about ads and brand images it is about what people are writing about those brands. That is why in the digital space you’ll see less images ads as before, more videos, more interactive content, games with more integration of brands into content. I read a book the other day it was filled with brand messages and trademarked names. I see this happening in the digital space the intertwining of brand in the news and into articles. Think of it as journalist product placement. I believe what we called journalism when I was in college is long gone. When news organizations have to make a profit journalism is out the window.

Besides product placement more content will be written by public relations firms to appear as an article. The line is blurred between editorial and advertising it is beyond ad-editorial. Publishers will have to accept this PR firm generated content because it is sold the same as any display ad by the column inch, and perhaps by readership. What about the readers they are consumers this is just another avenue of getting their attention.

Investigative journalism is not happening at the major publications, radio, or tv, because there is no profit in it. Blogs are now being written by regular people, who are conducting the investigations, building the cases than posting their facts and perhaps presenting this to the authorities for prosecution. However, those bloggers better be careful even with the truth they can lose everything through lawsuits brought by those wanting to hide their secrets to protect their profits.

The opinions expressed are that of the individual and not reflective that of the publishers.

About The Author: DC Rahe

Contributing Editor