Digital Publishing – The Future of the Magazine Industry?

One of the industries affected by the recent economic downturn was that of the paper magazine publication. An evidence of this is the decreasing trend in rate-card-reported advertising revenue from 2007 to 2009 as published by the Publishers Information Bureau. The year 2009 by far had the worse figures with a drastic 18.1% decline in advertising revenue. Revenues amounted to $19,450,949,762 compared to 2008’s $23,652,018,533 total rate-card-reported ad revenue. The 2008 figures on the other hand, was 7.8% lower compared to 2007’s advertising revenues.

The decline in advertising revenues and ad pages created has forced many magazines to cease publication. The famous of which is Gourmet magazine, closing last year after almost 70 years in publication. Although the recent economic recession may have had the greatest effect as to why many magazines went out of business in the last 3 years, it can not be solely blamed for the industry’s struggle. With the developing technology and the rise of the Internet generation, audiences have shifted interests. Many have preferred gossip blogs over celebrity magazines, online cooking guides over recipe books. The Internet has become the number one source of information.

To adjust to the decreasing advertising revenue and at the same time to take advantages of the wide reach that the Internet has to offer, many publications have resorted to having a digital edition for their paper publication, or have totally abandoned paper and embraced digital publishing. An online magazine software could create paperless magazines that do not need logistics costs in order for copies to be sent to subscribers, a feat that is very helpful in cutting costs for publishers. Not to mention that being paperless means zero contribution to paper waste and consumption.

The answer to whether or not digital publishing is the future of the magazine industry is still uncertain. Though many people still prefer flipping through glossy pages, digital media publishing has opened endless possibilities, benefiting not only publishers but subscribers as well.

Visit Zipadi for more information on digital publishing []. You may also want to read on Magazines That Folded in 2009.

Author: Steve F. Smith
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