Going Beyond Pure Content: Experiencing More New Magazines in 2009 but with Less Frequency…January 11, 2010
As the numbers of the new magazine launches are tallied the early numbers show an increase of more than 50 titles in 2009 than that of 2008, however the magazines published with a frequency of four or more saw a decline of almost 25 titles.
The December new magazine launches totaling 74 new titles divided between 21 regularly published titles and 53 annuals and specials helped bring the total number of new magazines published in 2009 to 734 compared to the final tally of 685 in 2008. For those who still doubt the vitality of the magazines they need only check the number of new magazine launches back in the 80s when we had 234 new magazines published in 1985. Remember that in 1985 digital and the internet were the domain of research labs and not on every one’s desk and laptop!
The crop of 2009 saw 181 new magazines published with a frequency of four times or more compared to 208 in 2008 with similar frequency. The major change between the 80s and today is the frequency of the launches. Back then it used to be 2/3 of the magazines published with a regular frequency and 1/3 with the special or annual frequency. Now it is just the opposite. Publishers have learned the value of a special (high cover price, low creation cost) and are utilizing that with the help of magazines that do not exist in print any more but their brands continue to survive such as the famous Life magazine brand.
One thing all those new magazines share in common: they are more than content. They are trying to create an experience that goes beyond content. You can get content on any digital device, but getting the magazine experience is and should go beyond content. Witness Respect. magazine, the new magazine paying tribute to the greatest images of the Hip-Hop culture, or Sup, the magazine for Standup Paddling (yes you read that right). Witness MH+L (Modern Home + Living) the modern celebrity lifestyle magazine or Classic Properties International, the magazine about homes and estates from around the world. Each and every one of those December new launches may have content that you can find on the internet, however the experience you get from picking up the magazines and flipping through their pages goes way beyond the content delivery. Try it for yourself and you will understand what I mean.
If magazines were only content, that medium would have died years ago. Magazines are experiences and those experiences will continue to evolve and change year after year. Enjoy the crop of 2009 and looking toward a great 2010 and beyond.