The Precision Media Group
Here is an interesting observation and a modern-age publishing dilemma. Due to print publishing's vagaries and analog necessities, this article was due to my editor four to five weeks before it would be released in Publishing Executive's print and electronic editions. I was asked to write about what publishers should be considering regarding the iPad. Basically the questions are: Where do we go from here? Should publishers be developing apps or wait till the e-smoke clears?
This month I want to shine the light on an issue that I think warrants discussion by our industry. For lack of a better term, I have been calling it PIP—that is, paranoia in publishing. Here is the core of the issue: We believe that publishing will survive and be quite lucrative for many of the industry's smartest folks, but we can't quite figure out whether we will be part of that group—or part of that survival. And that is the terrible sadness of it.
Rance Crain, president of Crain Communications, made an interesting point last month. In a Jan. 4 Advertising Age column, he wrote, "Consumers are getting used to saving again, and they won't part with their money unless they're given pretty good reasons." So where does that leave the magazine business?
Publishing Executive and Book Business magazines, producers of the Publishing Business Conference & Expo, have announced "Mr. Magazine" (Samir Husni) and executives from GIE Media, Greenleaf Book Group and Oxford University Press to co-chair an all-star conference advisory board.
Over the past 15 years or so, I have become a genius. I know that sounds brash, but the thing is, so have you. In fact, everyone's a genius these days. It is no longer important to just know facts; it is more important to be able to find facts. That is a definite sea change for society and especially for the information distribution business formally known as publishing.
Publishing Executive and Book Business magazines, producers of the Publishing Business Conference & Expo, have announced "Mr. Magazine" (Samir Husni) and executives from GIE Media, Greenleaf Book Group and Oxford University Press to co-chair an all-star conference advisory board
I have to be honest. I am shocked that so many magazine people are so shocked about the current state of the industry. For years, before the economic downturn, we heard that there were too many redundant titles out there. You've heard of the "dot-com bubble" of 2000 and the "housing bubble" of 2008; I think we are experiencing the bursting of the magazine bubble of 2009-2010.
I have been talking for years about a possible new business model for publishers that I have termed, for lack of a better title, consortium publishing. The idea works like a cable TV plan—with tiered subscriptions starting with a flat price for a basic service and working up to a platinum package containing any and all available content.
A few weeks ago, I was reminded of Bob Garfield's 5-year-old book, "The Chaos Scenario," in which he explained that various converging forces will doom mass media and mass marketing. Garfield argued that the style of old media will continue to be under stress and that this stress will change what we, as producers and users, have grown accustomed to expect from our media.