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Books and newspapers will do just fine in 2016. Magazines? Not so much

4 January 2016

From Quartz:

The reign of the consumer magazine—glossy, beautiful, and once a ubiquitous presence atop living room coffee tables around the world—seems to be quietly crumbling.

Print books are making something of a comeback right now, thanks in part to the rise of coloring books and a swelling public interest in children’s literature. Newspapers, catering to hyper-local communities,are faring pretty well, too. In fact, according to a new report from global consulting firm McKinsey, every category of media—from cinema to educational publishing to video games—should see an increase in consumer spending in the next few years.

Every category, that is, except magazines.

. . . .

Global spending on media as a whole will rise 5% every year for the next five years, McKinsey predicts. But the market for both print newspapers and magazines is likely to wane, as interest in digital media takes over. While such a decline will not necessarily be industry-ending—”We believe that many of the people likely to abandon print newspapers and print consumer magazines have already done so,” McKinsey says—it will still have a real effect, leaving publishers scrambling for sustainable profits and new revenue channels.

Link to the rest at Quartz

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9 Comments to “Books and newspapers will do just fine in 2016. Magazines? Not so much”

  1. They must have finally heard that Playboy isn’t going to have nude girls in it any more, so you’ll only read it for the stories/interviews now …

  2. It’s become impossible to mock these people.

    Print books are making something of a comeback right now, thanks in part to the rise of coloring books

  3. I stopped reading print magazines long ago. Then I discovered I can download many magazines digitally through the local library, so I’m reading a lot more than I ever used to.

    • Yes, I rarely see print magazines anymore. I read their websites instead. They tend to have them. I’m not sure why anyone should worry about their survival. They can sell ads on their site, no? So long as the ads aren’t obnoxious their readers might not even use adblockers.

  4. Look at what readers do in real life to see what happens in business life.

    I used to subscribe to 15 magazines annually plus the local paper (7 days a week). I now subscribe to 2 magazines (one is a digital SF one, one is a religious one in print) and 1 lit journal in print, and I’m dropping the lit journal this year because I prefer to go digital for all this stuff and it’s expensive. I began weeding my magazine subs over 7 years ago.

    I used to go to the bookstore 1 to 3 times a week and spend 75+ bucks weekly on purchases (some weeks more than 200, depending on what released). I haven’t been in a bookstore since 2012.

    I used to make fun of ebooks, and even with a Sony Reader, I mostly got print. Then I discovered a cool Kindle and now most of my book purchases are ebooks. I also buy fewer books weekly, due to the distractions of streaming videos/cable channels/internet free reading.

    I now only subscribe to the online newspaper with Sunday Only print delivery. I may go to NO newspaper delivery soon, because there’s so much news online. I mostly read Google news and skip even the paper I get delivered. So, why pay? I kept the subscription to support local investigative journalism. But, well, I need to save for retirement. 😀

  5. The decline of print media is due to both the convenience of digital and its lack of quality. People are turning away from the corporate print media because a lot of it is disinformation (in news) or (in the fiction world) the same big-name authors who write the same book over and over.

  6. “…newspapers will do just fine in 2016…”

    Huh?

    Newspapers are going down the tubes. Ad revenue (where papers make their profits) are down to a miniscule fraction of what they once were. And people aren’t buying them so much anymore. Of course, much of that is due to the fact that papers have raised their prices to “cover” the circulation losses — a self-defeating death spiral.

    Here in SoCal, the LA Times is now $1.50 for the daily paper. More for Sunday. Not so long ago it was 25, then 50, then 75 cents. I used to get the Times and read it every day. Now I can’t remember the last time I bought a copy. It’s also much thinner, and I have a real problem paying $1.50 for a copy. So I don’t.

    • The article distinguishes that newspapers “catering to hyper-local communities” are doing fine. Everything you said is true about the big papers, but small papers are doing great. I know, because I own and edit one. They’re thriving because nobody else is writing — and writing well — about the small, local stuff. Also, small papers tend to have good advertising bases in their communities so they often enjoy free distribution.

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