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How Magazines can Survive the Digital Age

Jason Dojc

Traditional media is losing “news� market share to the Internet Source: Pew Research Centre via Marketing Charts August 2008


And as more people spend time online, the less time they spend with traditional media Source: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

So will internet kill the print media star?

NO New technology never completely replaces old technology. We generally find a new purpose for “old tech�

Cars didn’t replace horses. Horse riding evolved from transportation into recreation

Photography didn’t replace painting. Impressionism, cubism, surrealism and several other important art movements emerged after the invention of the camera.

Digital media, social or otherwise, won’t completely replace print media. Print media will evolve.

Magazines are best positioned amongst traditional media to weather the internet storm as the industry already is structured as a ‘mass of niches’ with a title catering to almost any interest

While 2008 Ad Revenues are down 11.7% Source: Magazine Publishers of America

... circulation revenue is up

Source: BusinessWeek, May 15, 2009

Insight Magazine content is valued by readers Using advertising as the primary source of funding that content is what’s broken

“What business are you in?” Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do

Not breaking news

Twitter and blogs do it faster

Not community

Services like Facebook and Meetup have that covered

There are many newspapers and news shows reporting the same things. Magazines have a voice and in this era voice is values; magazines can create content with unique value and if they can continue to find readers across media they will survive. Jeff Jarvis

Three of Salon’s (an online news and culture magazine) most popular stories have featured the words: • Best • Worst • Everything you wanted to know about Our readers want to know what we think -- and they want to tell us what they think. And they want to know what other readers think. Joan Walsh Editor of

Magazines are curators of content of a particular taste and point of view.

How does one profit from content when standard advertising can no longer pay most of the bills?

Be a Brand

Maxim is more than a men’s magazine. It’s a male fantasy brand that throws parties and opens nightclubs. Having multiple revenue streams takes away the publisher’s dependence on advertising. It also allows for a deeper understanding of the audience allowing for richer marketing partnerships with other brands

Be a Brand Extension

“O – The Oprah Magazine” extends Oprah Winfrey’s personal brand. In Canada, LCBO’s “Food & Drink” and The Beer Store’s “Chill” serve as a marketing platform for brands within their respective categories.

Find a receptive captive audience

In flight magazines like En Route and commuter magazines like Metro can promise a receptive audience to marketers because of their captive audience

Find a receptive captive audience

Are there any unexplored captive areas?

Be a content platform

OhMyNews is a Korean newspaper that edits articles crowdsourced from citizen journalists. The writers are paid if the article is published. With less full-time staff, the paper is able to sustain itself

Be uber-premium

Super-premium luxury brands and high newsstand prices can still support certain “high-end� magazines.

Be an Aggregator Lexus sponsored “Mine� Magazine, an aggregate of several titles based on preferences chosen by readers

HSBC sponsored a custom magazine where consumers would get an HSBC branded hard cover, choose from a series of loose-leaf articles, and have it bound before their flight

Be an Aggregator

Now imagine a meta-magazine, one that scoured the Internet for great content that matched your preferences either by survey or based on your Facebook profile. Article quality would be determined by reader reviews, an automated algorithm, and/or editorial reviews. Ads and marketing partnerships could be targeted based on article context and reader profiles.

The Bottom Line Magazine ≠glossy bound periodical with articles, photography, and illustrations Magazine = authoritative niche content from vetted sources in any format

Thank You Jason Dojc