Anyone who looks at magazines from the 50s or 60s will see a huge difference between them and modern magazines. Before the advent of computers, many consumers relied on magazines to provide information, recipes, home decorating tips and business information. They eagerly read the secrets of celebrities and looked forward to each song.
The numbers to return to school in magazines such as Seventeen can be almost as thick as many phone directories. Fast forward to 2009 and 2010, and the magazines have changed a lot. They have to compete with other sources of information, the main competitor of which is the computer.
Advertising revenues fell in almost all magazines. However, some highly specialized journals managed to remain profitable. The question is, how long can they do it? Are there problems in the future of the magazine industry and will magazines soon become collectibles as strange as players, typewriters, etc.?
Some magazines seem to be going against this trend. Personal magazines are the most popular. Shoppers seem to love collecting these pages and even tearing them up to take homewares to stores. The number of personal magazines has more than tripled since 2005, with kiosks filled with a record number of such magazines.
However, the magazine industry faces many challenges with the advent of computers and online access to information. Magazines with a long and distinguished history, including Gourmet and Portfolio magazines, are no longer published. Newsweek magazine goes on sale, raising questions about how people want to get their news.
Maybe getting it every week is too long, especially when readers can access the latest news with one click. Computers have many great features, but they can kill magazines with similar information.
Magazines such as Newsweek, also known as Newsweeklies, face particular challenges. Why do they often run into problems and may fall? Easily. They cannot compete with online news, information that can be released on the same day that a weekly news magazine hits the kiosk.
To attract readers in magazines should be a special hook or corner. In Home Companion, Mary Englebright had paper dolls on the back of the magazine and collectible prints that could be framed and hung on the wall (as in the old McCalls magazine). There were special sports magazines about the Olympics and posters that could be hung on the wall. All these features have helped readers buy magazines, maybe they will do it again.
The magazine industry still faces difficulties. You need paper to fill the logs, and the paper usually comes from the trees. Magazines have been attacked for profligacy and disrespect for the environment. Faced with the choice of buying an online magazine or reading similar information, environmentally conscious consumers often choose an online experience.
Usually it comes down to simple savings. What role do magazines play in terms of information and how much will consumers cost? To remain competitive, the magazine industry must create publications that readers want to buy, collect and store for more than one or two days. Some collectible special editions seem to be doing well and even flying off the shelves. But when it comes to dissemination of information, the magazine industry is finding it increasingly difficult to occupy a unique niche.
To remain profitable, magazines also need to have advertisers. Unfortunately, they compete with advertisers who often prefer to appear online. Advertising revenues in many magazines fell as their regular advertisers decided to cut or switch to online advertising. Advertisers need to maximize their budget, which often means excluding certain logs from the general list.