Posted November 20, 2008 12:05 am by with 12 comments

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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.

  • I guess it’s not surprising, but I really can’t see reading PC Magazine online. I loved it when traveling since I had the time to read it in airports and on the plane. Was my favorite magazine when flying. Too many choices online, and too much other stuff to do, than to read about computers.

    Michael Dorausch’s last blog post..2006 DRX9000 Decompression Table Must Go!

  • There are a few trees that will be saved by this initiative. Going exclusively online will definitely cut a lot of overheads, from printing costs through to distribution, which should really boost the bottom line for PC Mag.

  • I have been a subscriber of Maximum P.C. for a few years and have noticed the turn to web use with them as well. While I have not heard of them going exclusively online I would much rather hold the magazine and flip the pages than read it online.

    Matt Thomas’s last blog post..Basics of Solar Energy

  • It is as you say a natural progression when you see the accounts, however, there is something strange about reading large articles or collections of articles on a monitor. I buy magazines for some ‘down-time’ relaxation. Like on the couch at night time or in bed. Cozying up with the laptop doesn’t do it for me.

  • Print just cant reach consumers fast enough with content/opinion. Waiting 30 days to read about something that happened 50 days ago is simply not going to cut it in the tech industry.

    Jaan Kanellis’s last blog post..Google Search-Based Keyword Tool (New)

  • I was in the doctor’s office just last week and saw PC Magazine for the first time in years. It was THIN. I remember the behemoth issues that the mailman used to stuff into my mailbox 20 years ago and i barely recognized that it was the same magazine. I knew then that it was just a matter of time before the print publication followed InfoWorld and others gently into that good night. I know that it’s just because I am old, but I still really like printed material, even though it’s totally impractical. I guess I needed to buy PC Magazine once in the last 20 years if I want to lament its passing. 🙂

  • Its the time to have a copy to keep as records ….. for kids! So that they can have an idea about printed magzines 🙂

    ArpitNext’s last blog post..MTV Youth Icon Nominees : Ankit Fadia and Shweta Chari

  • Well that’s sweet that they already had a success (profitable) online business model going. Sure helps.

    To add to what Jaan said… plus advertisers can test offers quicker online and see results faster.

  • I actually prefer stuff online instead of having a hard copy of the magazine. It is easy to search for articles as well as having a quick way to look up magazines instead of hoarding all past magazines. The only deceptive things is that online media is always more eco-friendly than print media. The only situation is when the electricity used to power the servers is totally renewable.

    Patrick’s last blog post..Buy From Local Turkey Farms for Thanksgiving

  • Although I agree that online mags are taking over it is a shame if it leads to the loss of the paper magazine completely. Sometimes I prefer to flick through a real paper magazine!

  • I like online edition of newspapers and magazines. It is very convenient to open it any time you wish. And there is need to wait for the published magazine to appear at the stores. A great way for searching, looking through the information needed are the main advantages of online edition.

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