27 years in the biz and Ziff Davis has decided to cut their losses and stop issuing the print version of PC Magazine. As Internet advertising supplants other forms of media advertising more and more magazines will be forced to take this route. This isn’t to say that print media won’t have a place in the world’s future. However certain forms of print media will have to change to survive.
If your readers can get the same content on your website that you offer in your print edition, what’s stopping them from canceling their subscription. Unless you’re offering unique content, people are gonna take the free version, even if it is watered down. As well hundreds if not thousands of other bloggers or other online content producers are making that same or similar information available. Seems pretty gloomy for the traditional magazine.
That being said, nothing can replace the experience of a magazine, paperback, or hardcover book. Sure the content may be available in electronic format but there’s more to the act of absorbing information. I subscribe to feeds, I’m clicking on CNN, I watch YouTube videos but I still take time to read a newspaper. It’s one of the few times during the day that I unplug and yet still enjoy “content”. I don’t spend as much on magazines as I used to but it certainly won’t be an easy road ahead for them. I think I’ll go to Chapters after work.