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Ovation: Saying “Goodbye” To Print Media.

02/14/2013

RIPI used to subscribe to several magazines.  My favorite was always Entertainment Weekly.  For many years it arrived in my mailbox on Fridays and I would read it, cover to cover, by Monday morning when I would bring it to the office to share with the woman in the next office.  I received several other, more “intellectual” magazines on a monthly basis but I never enjoyed them as much as ET, People, Readers’ Digest or Star Magazine.

When my subscription to Entertainment Weekly came up for renewal a couple of years ago, it occurred to me that I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I as had in years past because, by the time the magazine arrived in my mailbox on Friday afternoon everything inside was old news.  With each issue, more and more of the magazine’s content was available online before the printed copy was delivered.  The magazine that I had so eagerly anticipated for so many years was no longer of any importance.  I didn’t renew my subscription.

Apparently, I’m not alone in my decision to eliminate my magazine subscriptions.

Time Warner is rumored to be in talks to sell several magazines from its Time Inc. division.  Titles including People, InStyle and Real Simple are said to be up for sale and could be sold in combination as a newly formed company.  The company will reportedly keep at least three titles – Time, Sports Illustrated and Fortune.

Time Warner may not be the only media conglomerate looking to trim its exposure to print products.  News Corp. has announced plans to split its publishing business from its TV and film divisions this year.

If other magazine consumers, like me, have taken to reading news and entertainment online via free and/or subscription websites, the demand for paper magazines will surely dissolve with increasing frequency so Time Warner’s decision to sell now could be the right decision.

Do you still subscribe to any magazines?  If so, which one(s)?

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22 Comments
  1. I’m like you, most of what I liked to read about I got from the internet first. I think part of the problem is that print media didn’t/hasn’t and won’t do what is needed to distinguish itself from the net to keep relevant. Rather then go with their strengths, they went for the quick and easy. You see the same thing happening to news and network tv.

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    • It seems to me that they make no effort whatsoever to limit their content to print. Rather than use the internet to drive readers to the printed page, they share so much online that there’s no reason whatsoever to buy the magazine. They don’t keep any content exclusive to the print version. I don’t know how they stay in business.

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  2. I still subscribe to Sports Illustrated and entertainment Weekly. Sometimes, its easier to have the physical magazines on hand to read, rather than reading the content electronically.

    But I agree that the days may be numbered

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  3. There are a few I still get, but they aren’t available on line. What concerns me is that folks who don’t have access (or ready, constant access) to the internet are placed at a horrible disadvantage. We really have developed a have and have not society.

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    • We really do unfairly assume that everyone has access to the internet, don’t we?

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      • Yes. Imagine being an old person these days: Not a card, not a letter, not an email …

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        • My poor mother (90+ years old) watches the news on tv, and when they say, “for more on this story go to our web site and click on…” she just sighs. I’ve tried to get her to look at my computer, but she just will not. :(

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          • I hate that! Our local newscasters will actually read to us from the internet. They’ll show a webpage on the screen behind them and read it to us! I think it’s ridiculous. Eventually, I imagine, supply and demand will come into play and we’ll end up with the most popular medium.

            On the other hand, I know several older folks that are electronics gurus that haven’t picked up a piece of paper in ages.

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          • “older folks that are electronics gurus that haven’t picked up a piece of paper in ages.”

            lol yes, that’s me. except for e-readers. i don’t have one of those yet.

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  4. Smithsonian Magazine. That’s the only print publication we currently subscribe to.

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  5. I have forced subscriptions to a few magazines (forced because they are gift from my mom, my mother-in-law and my stepmother). When I read them (which isn’t often), I actually just read them on the iPad because it is much easier and they travel better!

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  6. I too feel sorry for the older people who don’t or can’t use a computer. Phone books, magazines, etc. are things of the past. How do they cope during the transition from print media to paperless media?

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    • Canada has stopped mailing out Income Tax forms. If you can’t download them, you have to go to a postal outlet, or phone an 800 number to request them to be mailed.

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  7. On the other hand, don’t feel too sorry for them, as there is less stress by not being too connected. Technology has made our lives easier in many respects, but it has made us always at work and less inclined to think for ourselves. Here is an easy example. If you had to dial a number for a friend, could you? I read all sources. There are times when I like the ink on my hands. There are times when I read on the web. I personally don’t like to read long prose on the web. Maybe it is my older eyes. I am sad that real news reporting is dying out as fewer practice it and even when we see it, sometimes we underappreciate it. I will give you an example on gun control – the greater tragedy is by far what happens every day, not Aurora or Sandy Hook, but how many news people cover the story that way? Great post. Thanks for letting me ramble. BTG

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  8. I do feel somewhat bad for the publishing industry– but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like magazines in general. I just prefer to consume things electronically.

    I like using the Zinio app on my iPad and buying mags… like Dwell. And then reading them on the plane, etc.

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