The Internet Takes Another Print Media Victim

Changes at Advertising AgeAfter a delightful sunny and warm 2-week holiday, we have returned to the blogosphere with a news item that may be unsettling to many who still enjoy print publications.

Since the Internet rose to become a dominant communication platform, print publications, such as newspapers and magazines, have experienced a tremendous plunge in subscribers.  This has resulted in numerous publications, and especially trade magazines, closing their doors.  To give an example, in the early 2000s when KnowThis.com first listed marketing publications in our Weblinks Collection section, it included nearly 60 print publications that had a marketing emphasis.  Today only about 30 remain on our list.  Gone are such publications as Chief Marketing Officer, Promo Magazine, Industry Standard (Internet business focus), Purchasing, and Tradeshow Week, to name a few.  As the titles suggest, most of these were highly targeted publications that appealed to a relatively narrow group of marketers.  These also were publications whose revenue model relied heavily on businesses advertising in their publications.  While as the Internet grew and the information in many of these magazines became readily available through other online sources, the real death knell came when advertisers fled to the Internet, which offered stronger targeting options and also provided powerful methods of tracking those who were interested in an advertisement.

The impact of the Internet on print media is clearly demonstrating how an industry can be disrupted by innovation.  Many years ago, the automobile did the same to many industries, such as horse saddle and whip manufacturers, while television put a serious dent into companies providing products to the radio industry.

Now, according to this story, another marketing magazine is suffering.  In this case, it is the well-respected Advertising Age magazine, which has been publishing weekly since 1930.  AdAge has announced it is moving its print cycle from once a week to once every two weeks.  While the magazine is not dead, this is certainly not a good sign that the print version will be around much longer.  In fact, it is becoming more and more likely that a printed version of almost any publication is likely not going to be an option in the very near future.  In essence, this product category has entered the decline stage of the product life cycle.

Image by cathyse97

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