Delighting in a Magazine’s Death? a Q&A with the blogger behind MagazineDeathPool.com
The Grim Reaper, the popular, anonymous blogger behind the Magazine Death Pool at http://www.magazinedeathpool.com, believes the end of days is near for print magazines.
It may not mean coming into physical contact with the blade of a scythe, but appearing on the Grim Reaper’s blog may prove just as deadly to a major magazine title. For nearly three years now, the unidentified industry insider regularly has taken pleasure in predicting what popular title will close its doors next. Whether it’s a dip in ad revenue or pages, another redesign or a shake-up in management, the Reaper sniffs out the early warning signs and chronicles the shuttering of popular magazines throughout the industry.
While maintaining his (her?) anonymity, the Grim Reaper excused himself for a few minutes from taking pleasure in predicting who’s next on the chopping block, and answered Publishing Executive Inbox’s questions about his bleak outlook for the future of the industry.
Publishing Executive Inbox: In your opinion, what are the top reasons that all of these magazine titles have been shuttering in such great numbers in the last few years?
Grim Reaper: There are several reasons why titles are closing down, some with greater impact than others. A) Magazines that outlived their usefulness or relevancy, especially being in the line of fire of what’s popular on the Web. B) Magazines that were right in the crosshairs of the faltering economy. C) No. 3 titles in some categories were just not going to survive. D) Magazines that were created for advertisers, not for an audience. E) Magazines that did not have a smart and profitable digital strategy. F) Too much reliance on advertisers in trouble or under the gun (i.e. automobiles, liquor).
In the first three cases, there was really not much fault to be given. The times changed. The way people consumed their media changed. The Web began to own certain areas, like gossip, personal finance and sports, so magazines were becoming more vulnerable.