BoSacks - The Profit Prophet: Has the Print Magazine Bubble Burst?
Why do I tell you this? Print publishers have an average newsstand sell-through rate of 33 percent—or roughly equal to the financial services' open rates of 35.6 percent. Admittedly, this isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, but doesn't it make you wonder? Our financial future may be at stake here. Advertisers want transparency and accountability, and the digital magazine is our path to offer them.
We need to use our creative energy to get our digital magazine open rates up to at least those levels. This is not going to happen overnight, but I believe it will happen before you can say, "Gee, I didn't see that coming." As the public adopts and adapts to new electronic reading devices, our industry needs to be at the forefront of this progressive trend.
It is not too early in the technology cycle to start thinking about a full digital future for magazines, but we will be there sooner than you think.
Not sold? Just look at the progress of the last few years. The Amazon Kindle was first released Nov. 19, 2007. That is just two short years ago. Already, there are full-color e-readers due out in early 2010. Better than that, there are at least two companies planning roll-outs of hinged, two-page, full-color, touchscreen e-readers, one of which is reported to sell for only $160. This is not science fiction, but rather science fact. Is your business ready to capitalize? PE
Bob Sacks (aka BoSacks) is a printing/publishing industry consultant and president of The Precision Media Group (BoSacks.com). He also is the co-founder of the research company mediaIDEAS (MediaIdeas.net), and publisher and editor of a daily international e-newsletter, Heard on the Web. Sacks has held posts as director of manufacturing and distribution, senior sales manager (paper), chief of operations, pressman, circulator, and almost every other job this industry has to offer.