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Publisher’s Desktop

Magazines flourish amid ‘Death of Print’

Publisher’s Desktop

Magazines occupy a privileged position in the emerging media landscape. Nationally, newspaper readership has declined by close to 9 percent over the past five years, while magazine readership has increased by 4 percent. Surprisingly, one of the strongest increases is among young adults ages 18 to 24, who now read an average of 7.3 magazines a month.

Television has problems of its own. While Americans watch more TV every year, fewer are watching commercials, which undermines TV’s business model. Anyone using streaming video with a Netflix account can tell you that the “first screen” will likely undergo a breathtaking revolution in only a few years that will eclipse changes forced by Napster on the music industry.

The reality that magazines are alive and thriving is not well-known. Almost daily, I encounter questions about the “Death of Print” from a variety of people, ranging from my mom to key business partners.

“Print” is not monolithic. The daily paper — which is losing both readers and advertising — has much more in common with the evening newscast than with a monthly magazine. TV and newspapers compete in a crowded 24/7 news space, where anyone with a blog and a cell phone camera can “break” news.

Magazines do not compete in that environment. Ask magazine writers what makes a great story and they will probably talk about fresh perspectives on important community issues. Magazine writing doesn’t just give us information; it helps us understand our world. At Hawaii Business, we provide valuable perspectives on the key economic issues that affect Hawaii and its future.

How we provide that perspective — in print or on tablet computers or elsewhere — is a business question that does not change the fundamental formula for success: Produce great original content that meets readers’ needs and the eyeballs will follow.

Hawaii Business magazine invites you to comment on our articles and the issues they raise. Comments are moderated for offensive language, commercial messages and off-topic posts and may be deleted. Some comments may be chosen for inclusion in the magazine on the Feedback page.

Oct 14, 2010 08:26 pm
 Posted by  Barb Garcia, Ke Ola Magazine

Aloha David,

Thank you for this letter and the national magazine ad campaign. I am sending a link to someone who perceives newspaper advertising to still be primary over magazines- some people just don't like to be confused with facts!

I appreciate your publication very much.

Aloha from the Big Island,

Barbara Garcia
Publisher, Ke Ola Magazine
The Life Magazine of Hawaii Island

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