Tag Archives: magazine

Print Magazine Sales Plunge

Single-copy print magazine sales plunged by another 10% in the first half of 2013 according to the AAM’s (Alliance for Audited Media) 2013 half-year report. Extensive details can be found on their website here at this link to their report.

I remember back in the 1980’s subscribing to print magazines such as Stereo Review, Digital Audio & Compact Disc Review, Popular Photography, Videomaker Magazine, PC World, PC Computing, Hot CoCo, etc. I originally came into contact with most of the magazines I ended up subscribing to via magazine news stands.

Somewhere along the way my interest seemed to wain and I allowed those magazine subscriptions to drop. Looking back, it’s probable that the Internet itself via desktop computers started consuming the time that would otherwise default to reading magazines, which in turn caused me to lose interest and allow those magazine subscriptions to drop.

Today, I subscribe to the digital version of Mac Life via the Barnes & Noble Nook app. I might subscribe to more digital versions of magazines if I could find some I really liked on a consistent basis. Though many magazines offer digital 30 day trials, I’m not easily enticed to take the plunge.

With movies and TV shows Netflix offers unlimited streaming for thousands of movies and TV shows, akin to renting unlimited access to their giant ever-changing movie and TV catalog . Services such as Google Music are offering unlimited streaming and downloading of millions of MP3 files for a monthly fee, sort of akin to renting unlimited access to a huge chunk of all available music, including most of the latest stuff. Stop paying the subscription and the movies and music immediately go away.

If someone were to offer a monthly subscription to a large catalog of digital versions of magazines, I would probably bite if they were an appealing collection of magazines. I don’t know if the print magazine business is desperate enough yet to move to this sort of digital magazine stand subscription model, but looking at the successful trends set by Netflix, Amazon Prime Videos, and services such as Google Music, it seems to me the handwriting is on the wall for the magazine business.

Smartphone and tablet time are encroaching heavily on time that used to be spent with desktop and laptop computers, and that encroachment continues to accelerate. We are therefore turning into tablet and smartphone consumers. Apps with good content are what generate much of the appeal of tablets and smartphones. Tablets in particular can offer a good, clean digital magazine experience via apps. I believe there is an opportunity for the print business to close the circle and reinvent themselves as the right digital magazine news stand apps, offering all-you-can-eat subscription access to the right racks of digital versions of magazines. It will happen sooner or later. The process can be more or less painful for the magazine industry depending on how long they are able to remain in denial, and how much they drag their feet.

We are now tablet consumers. The new name of the game is going after my tablet time as that tablet consumer. Content creators and sellers are now competing with things like Angry Birds, Netflix, Amazon, various music services, etc.

Offer me a clean, all-you-can-eat, easy-to-use package to a large digital magazine stand where I can browse through and skim through articles and adds just like I can in the real world at a physical magazine stand, and I will subscribe.

Yahoo’s Lifestand

http://f.cl.ly/items/2v1u2K3Z1p3041463C47/Untitled.pngThis week Yahoo put out a magazine style newsreader called Lifestand for the iPad. I am constantly looking at these types of applications having tried both Zite and FlipBoard, so when Lifestand became available I decided to give it a try. First like both Zite and FlipBoard it is beautifully made and well design. Setting it up is easy and using it is intuitive. When you first open it there are two sections. The bottom section contains all the content available thru Lifestand. As you go through it you can bookmark topics and sources that interest you and those go into the top section. Click on a source to choose it. Swipe left to view articles within a source. Click on the article and then swipe down to read the article. To go back in the menu, click on the arrow on the left bar.

After using it for a couple of days and despite it’s strengths I have decided Lifeststand is not for me. There are several things I either don’t like about it or are missing. The first weakness in my eyes is it is too Yahoo centric, which is not surprising, I just wish they had made it less obvious. The second problem is the sources within Lifestand are limited and there is no way to add new sources. Plus unlike Zite it doesn’t let you check off your likes and dislike and learn what you want and don’t want.  The third and biggest problem for me is the fact that the sharing options are limited to Facebook and email.  I need to be able to easily share with Twitter and Google Plus and I can’t do that thru Lifestand.   If you are a fan of Yahoo you may like Lifestand, but I still prefer Zite or FlipBoard.

Tabbloid – Your Website Magazine

Many people are still very simple in their use of the internet.  They check email and a handful of websites on a regular basis.  They are not users who follow large numbers of RSS feeds or use an RSS reader.  For those people let me give you an option that I have used on occasion.


I follow maybe six or eight tech sites on a regular basis.  My brother recommended Tabbloid.com.  Tabbloid delivers you a daily electronic magazine composed of the RSS stories from your chosen favorite sites.  You put in the website addresses you desire and Tabbloid does the rest.  An easy to read PDF document, Tabbloid, is delivered to your inbox at the chosen time. For me that is in the morning.  With a quick easy glance I can read through the headlines and stories from my favorite sites.  Maybe you have a certain type of web content you don’t check every day, Tabbloid is like the newspaper and magazine that waits for you.  No more looking way down the list of titles or sifting through the archives of sites.  Just open and read.


This is not for the power RSS user, but for the basic user it may be perfect.  Registration is quick and easy using the email address you want it delivered to.  Everything is so easy and slick you may be astounded that its free.  The site does one thing and does it well.  It is website content delivered to the common man.