Friday, November 5, 2010

The Evolution of the Magazine

by Allison Onyett

As most business owners know, when launching a product it is of utmost importance to evolve with the trends and keep up with your market; the publishing industry is no exception. In recent years, the trend in publishing has been the digital edition – a magazine or newspaper reproduced and delivered electronically. In most cases it is almost identical to the print version, yet will often contain hyperlinks to various websites and related topics.

There are many advantages to producing a digital edition – some magazines are even solely available online, such as the local Calgary fashion magazine Conglomerate. Ultimately, a digital edition is also more cost effective to produce and environmentally friendly to distribute. As the market evolves and new electronic devices emerge, it would seem that an increasing number of consumers are choosing to subscribe to the electronic format.

However, you may also be questioning the viability of this new trend, and wondering if the market has evolved enough for currently distributed publications to justify the investment in and/or immediate production of digital editions. Is an online presence enough? What is the future of print magazines?

If you are involved in the publishing industry and are concerned about the evolution of the magazine, I would recommend doing some serious market research. You could get started by participating in the November 9th webinar hosted by FOLIO, “The State of the Digital Edition”, where you will have the opportunity to debate and learn about the aforementioned concerns and other related issues.

Personally, I still like the idea of flipping through the pages of a magazine and folding the corners of articles and advertisements that catch my eye. After staring at a computer screen all day I find it refreshing to turn away from its florescent lights and curl up with my favorite magazine. For these reasons, I’m not sure that I ever would subscribe to a digital edition, despite its many economical and environmental advantages. Is anyone with me on this, or am I part of a growing minority?