Entering the ‘Other’ World (Beyond Print)
Federle adds that the challenge isn’t so much about expanding digital delivery, but how to continue reinforcing all the reasons to still use print.
Alison Tocci, publisher, Time Out New York, completely understands this difference. But the digital boom is very much a reality for her. “There are so many ways people receive information now, which is something that has changed so drastically in one lifetime,” she says. “When I was a kid, there were four TV stations, now there are hundreds. The Internet is at our fingertips, and within seconds we can get updates on the latest news and events.
“Digital delivery is the biggest challenge for those creating print production on a periodical deadline,” she adds. “And it is the fragmentation of the market that makes it harder to reach people.”
Tocci explains that readers can now customize what they read and how, when and where they get information—whether it be in the office reading online, on the beach reading print or on the train reading on a handheld device. “Delivery seems a necessity. It is an option that would allow that segment of our readers who just want to know theater listings to obtain them without having to go through other listings,” says Tocci.
David Lipson, president of Metrocorp, Philadelphia—publisher of Philadelphia and Boston magazines, among others—also shares concerns about digital delivery, but from a different viewpoint. He is worried about globalization and homogenization.
“The two things that concern me right now [are] the sheer number of media choices out there that are growing at a faster pace than the number of consumers and advertisers; and the seeming homogenization of media and content. We live in a global world now and, as a local business person, uniformity concerns me.”
Despite this, both Philadelphia and Boston magazines experienced banner years in sales. For Philadelphia magazine, 2005 represented its best year ever; for Boston, the second-best. Like Time Out New York, these magazines serve as entertainment guides, with listings, reviews, features and narrative essays.