The View From The Tree: A Tale of Two Bit.lys
Then there are apps, white papers, e-newsletters, product endorsements, e-commerce, TV show tie-ins and spinoffs, online job listings, bookazines, custom research, webinars, sponsored and custom content, events, e-books, videos, and seemingly another new way every day that a publisher is making money online or offline. Such magazine-branded, non-magazine ventures are no longer ancillary to many publishers. They are part of the core.
"We now have 10 platforms at Dwell Media," Michela O'Connor Abrams recently told Samir "Mr. Magazine" Husni. "The magazine is about 55 percent of the business and four years ago it was 94 percent of the business." Other "magazine" publishers have gone even further, with their non-magazine ventures generating more revenue than their magazines.
The ink-on-paper magazine edition is still crucial to the publishing mix. Just ask WebMD, Politico and a growing list of formerly Web-only publishers that now have their own dead-tree editions. They have discovered that publishing a magazine creates a halo effect, lending credibility and a sense of permanence to everything bearing that magazine's brand name, regardless of the medium.
So here's my final answer: Yes, it's a pretty good time to be in the magazine business, as long as your business isn't overly dependent upon the actual magazines.
D. Eadward Tree is the pseudonymous Chief Arborist for Dead Tree Edition (http://deadtreeedition.blogspot.com). Mr. Tree is an old print dinosaur who doesn't know his RSS from a hole in the ground, but pay him a few bucks for an article and all of a sudden he thinks he's some kind of new-media pundit.