Since PC Magazine is for the tech crowd the announcement that the publication (can’t call it a magazine anymore I guess) would cease printing a hard copy and be a strictly online operation isn’t a surprise. The New York Times covers this change in the flagship of Ziff Davis Publishing while the company reports that the magazine would be profitable in 2008 but it is forecast to lose money in 2009.
Magazines as a whole are facing increasing competition from their online foes which are eating into advertising revenue. Coupled with a general economic malaise that is getting a tighter grip on the world economy and the increase in the raw material costs to print a magazine it was a bit of a no-brainer to shut down the print version. Right now the online version of the magazine generates 70% of the revenue and 80% of the profit of PC Mag.
This is a natural progression as the online edition of the publication was the first stop for news anyway. It’s kind of hard to be on top of the breaking news in any industry when you only go to print once a month. That’s so 80’s!
The magazine’s circulation is ½ of what it was in the late 1990’s. The magazine industry as a whole is suffering a 17% decrease in ad pages for December of 2008 when compared to December of 2007 according to the Media Industry Newsletter. This is the latest magazine to say goodbye to its print edition and my suspicion is that many will follow suit in the very near future.
What are some titles that you think will be online only in the next year or so? Are there any magazines that you would rather have in a print edition v. an online one? What place will magazines play in the future of media and marketing? Looking forward to some Pilgrim input for this one.