Overall print magazine circulation is stable or slightly up, and magazine readership (both print and digital) is increasing, according to Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni. So it’s back to business as usual for print magazine media companies, right?
No, according to this article by Karlene Lukovitz in MPA.org. In it, Husni explains that the magazine industry is actually quite a different animal today.
“[Husni] believes that, after a ‘bubble’ lasting about 150 years, the age of mass media–characterized by a relatively small number of companies and media realizing large profits by reaching mass audiences–is giving way to what he calls the ‘transcended infinite media age,’ characterized by burgeoning numbers of interpersonal networks and new technological platforms and devices,” Lukovitz explains.
“…we have the major media outlets seeing shrinking influence, and clusters of audiences who are talking and negotiating and engaging within themselves,” said Husni.
“At a time when consumers have hundreds of television channels, along with seemingly limitless blogs, Web sites and other media from which to choose, the media and the world at large need to accept the reality that audience segmentation means smaller revenues for individual media, as revenue is spread across the plethora of options available,” Lukovitz continued.
Not sure what this all means? Think back to cable TV’s entrance into the scene. No longer dependent on three major networks, consumers could choose from a huge variety of specialty shows that could find and engage a smaller, niche audience. The same is true for magazines today.
“There is a [print] magazine for every age group…for every interest…magazines large and small and magazines spanning a wide variety of formats,” Husni told Lukovitz. “There are more magazines in the marketplace than ever, even without counting digital replica versions, which have doubled in number since 2011, he said. In fact, there were just 2,000 print magazines in 1980, versus today’s 10,000.”
In this kind of environment, quality is critical.
“Amid all of this change, the one constant is the primary importance of magazines knowing their audiences and serving them with relevant, useful, compelling content,” he stressed.