Fewer Print Magazines Launched in 2012 Compared with 2011

Author: Abe
December 11, 2012

BtoBonline.com reports that fewer new print magazines were started up this year compared to last. (227 versus 239)

Antique Steam Printing Press

Printing presses are increasingly a legacy technology - photo of antique steam printing press.

Whether good or bad, this is a trend that is very likely to continue.

Even magazines which ought to be successful if managed properly have shuttered, like NFL Magazine which closed after only one quarter of issues.

Print publications have generally been losing marketshare to digital/internet magazines for some time now. An early “canary in the mine” harbinger to signal this trend was The Christian Science Monitor which halted printing of its daily edition in 2009, opting to continue publishing news on its website version in addition to a weekly print version. Of course, you can argue that The Christian Science Monitor perhaps is a hybrid between a newspaper and a magazine, but the print newspaper industry has suffered similar shrinkage to that of the magazine industry for all of the same reasons.

Newsweek is halting print publication at the end of this year, too, along with Shape magazine , Whole Living and Everyday Food, Mountain Gazette, and others.

Internet magazines, interactive magazines, digital magazines — whatever you may call them — will continue to gain audience while print magazines decline, although there are undoubtedly exceptions. For instance, in a captive audience such in the case of airline passengers, having a print magazine at hand where digital options are at least briefly suppressed builds in a degree of longevity. However, the airline industry is moving towards allowing mobile device usage more during flights, so this could cause the lifespan of in-flight magazines to be shortened as well.

The ideal medium for magazines is arguably on tablet devices, although I have yet to see a “new breed” publication that has fully engineered itself for this medium as of yet.

To check out some past great magazines which have died, visit my Magazine Graveyard.

See also Chris Welch’s report at The Verge on this trend, “Publishers bring 195 new magazines to print in 2012 despite ongoing digital push“.


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