While it may be unfair to blame the internet for the decrease in sales for a whole other medium, it is probably fair to say that there is some correlation between the decline in paid sales for magazines and the increasing popularity of the internet. Though magazine newsstand sales and yearly subscriptions have been declining for years the internet has provided a different way of providing information that readers may prefer.
Magazines, a much older medium, perhaps comes across as a veritable dinosaur in the so called information age. When comparing the two it is easy to see why users have flocked to the world wide web.
Magazines Are Not Free
While publishers expect you to pay anywhere from $3-$5 for a single issue of their magazine, most information on the internet can be found free of charge. There are websites, that charge users to view their content, but most information can be found free of charge if a user is willing to search. Magazine subscriptions are priced lower than ever before, as many publishers are practically giving away subscriptions. However, editors must work hard to publish a product that will compel readers to actually pay the purchase price, at a time when the ideology has changed and people believe that all information should be free.
Magazines Cannot Report News 24/7
In addition to being cost free, the internet is able to provide information as it is occurring. Most magazines are published on either a weekly or monthly basis. News magazines in particular have a hard time competing as the current issue rushed to print is yesterdays news, and popular portals report news up to the very minute. By the time readers receive their magazines in the mail or purchase it from the newsstand, they may have read the same information or have seen it on the news.
The future of magazines as a medium may seem bleak. However, there are genres that have seen sales increases such as the celebrity magazines. Though the information landscape is changing there are those who steadfastly subscribe to their favorite subscriptions year after year.
Publishers have started to adapt by embracing the internet and using it as a tool to connect with existing readers and perhaps convert new readers. Magazine Subscriptions, newsstand sales, and magazine websites often work in conjunction with one another to create the complete user experience. To try and combat the existing decline of subscription sales many publishers offer unique deals and offers to their subscribers on their website as a means to get readers to subscribe. Advertising dollars generated from magazine websites have perhaps sponsored the continuous lowering of prices on print subscriptions.
It is difficult to say how the internet will continue to affect other mediums, but the information landscape is continuing to evolve.