CommonWealth magazine, the 22-year-old quarterly published by Boston-based nonpartisan think tank MassINC, is going all digital. The Summer 2018 issue, out today, will be CommonWealth‘s last, editor Bruce Mohl revealed in the issue’s editor’s letter, arguing the magazine will more effectively serve its organizational mission—that is, coverage of the policy debates that impact lower- and middle-class Massachusetts residents—by devoting the bulk of its funding to its growing digital channels. “We explored a number of compromise positions, including publishing a thinner magazine (you’ll notice this issue is a bit narrower), a smaller-sized magazine, and even reducing the number of issues we publish,” wrote Mohl. “We evaluated each option closely, but in the end they all felt as if they were merely delaying the inevitable.” Click Read More below for additional information.
Magazine publishers are struggling to figure out how to boost their digital revenues without pushing people away from print editions, while also battling the swarm of new, often free digital content available in the world.
Yet printed magazines will stick around for a while yet, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report out today (June 8) with a broad analysis of the US media and publishing industries.
Print circulation revenue was $6.9 billion in 2015, making up the bulk of magazines’ total $7.8-billion circulation revenue. And print is estimated to still comprise 56% of total consumer magazine revenue in 2020.
“The data is showing us that especially in certain categories, print magazines are not going to go away,” PwC consultant Chris Lederer tells Quartz, adding the publications that dabble in “arts, crafts, hobbies, and other reference kinds of categories” have particular staying power.
It’s not exactly people’s unbridled enthusiasm keeping print magazines alive, though—more like inertia. As noted by the report:
Many subscribers also continue to enjoy the experience of reading magazines, with a routine for reading and enjoying them that is difficult to replicate in a digital edition. These subscribers are unlikely to switch to digital or cancel their subscription in the long term.
So the main thing magazines have to worry about is actually getting new readers to sign up and pay for their content. That can’t be too hard, right?
more at: http://qz.com/701356/kept-alive-by-subscriber-inertia-print-magazines-are-going-to-be-around-for-awhile-yet/