Picture this, clueless magazine publishers

7 Sep

[by Todd] Let’s see if you have what it takes to be a magazine publisher. Please study the following comments  from this New York Times article and see what conclusions you would draw.

Comment one

Elle_1
“Colleges have typically been a black hole for magazines in terms of
distribution…”

Comment two

“There’s no question that younger people are much more oriented toward
getting information from the Web than older people … But
that doesn’t mean they don’t have a place for magazines in their lives.”

So what do you do to reach college students?

Put your content on the web? No, no, no. You make kids download software so they can read pictures of your magazine. See why you aren’t getting paid the big bucks?

But the brains at The Magazine Publisher’s Association — because they are so in tune with hip kids — will email students a link to the electronic versions of the magazine, so they can download them to read on laptops at a later time.

For now, some students will be getting electronic subscriptions for free. In the future, however, they will have to pay, the exact same rate as if they got the print version. See the genius here? Magazines will save the printing and shipping cost, and pass the savings to their bottom line. Watch and learn.

James Meigs, publisher of Popular Mechanic, is one of the publishers gung ho on this program, and apparently quite happy with his vision:

“I don’t see this so much as something that will replace print, but
augment print,” Mr. Meigs said. “This is an industry that needs to be
flexible, and we need to be in front of our readers.”

Someone might want to tell Mr. Meigs that the light he sees isn’t the end of a tunnel. It’s the daily clue train picking up speed.