The Future of Magazines

There have been two interesting reports in the last couple of days on the state of ink-on-paper magazines, which (may) be less threatened by new media than newspapers. There’s a thoughtful interview with Betsy Frank, who holds the title chief research and insights officer for Time Inc., on the site jackmeyers.com. Her point: Magazines offer “relaxation, inspiration, and trust. . .combined with the digital promise of personalized content, passionate communities, and consumer control.” Self interested? Sure. But not necessarily wrong.

And yesterday came a report on the Folio website that magazines have (barely) passed newspapers in the battle for advertising market share.

Yes, magazines do have a cuddle-up factor, along with shelf life, that newspapers don’t. This could indeed help them sustain a place in the media life of even the more digitized consumers.

And, liberated from the duty of delivering daily news, many of them are also doing some very interesting things digitally that take them beyond many newspaper initiatives.

  • Consumer Reports is posting free videos of its crash-test-dummy tests by make, brand and year
  • Meredith Corp. just purchased Realage.com, a slightly hokey but very popular personal health assessment and management site. It previously purchased Healia, an excellent vertical search engine in the health space that filters out crap and provides clean, filterable results. Meredith plans to deploy the search across its titles that draw health-seeking readers.
  • Playboy has created a area in Second Life and a PlayboyU, a kind of social networking site for coeds. In another startling innovation, it has added twelve non-nude screensavers to its offerings.
  • Low Rider magazine has added social networking features.
Explore posts in the same categories: journalism, magazines, media, news, print-to-digital, Web 2.0

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