The Future of Magazines is Bright And Here’s Why

future of magazines

The magazine is a reading experience like no other.

What has made the medium so successful over the past 100+ years? What brought it to its initial success? How has the magazine survived as initially radio, and later television challenged the medium for readers’ time and attention? What differentiates a magazine from a book, or any other collection of written content?

I have always loved magazines! But frankly, over the years, I’ve wondered if the magazine, as a medium would survive. And now, with the advent of the tablet and larger smartphone screens, along with the growing popularity of native web magazines, I am no longer worried that the magazine medium will disappear. In fact, I believe it will evolve and thrive. Here’s why.

The combination of a magazine’s attributes make it desirable and “survivable” for some part of the reading population, for certain topics.

The magazine will survive because magazine lovers like you and me will continue to demand this magazine user experience, which transcends its physicality. Paper, tablet or laptop screen, the essential attributes of a magazine will not change.

But consumers like you and me are not going to let publishers change the characteristics of a magazine that have made the medium so successful over the years.

That it has traditionally been printed on paper is not an essential characteristic of a magazine. Some publishers will inevitably disagree, but they are mistaking physical appearance for user experience.

Here’s what I believe is the core of a magazine. As your publication is transformed from print to app and web, make certain it doesn’t lose even one of these essential attributes, which define the user experience.

Your magazine should be linear, finite, and periodic. Magazines should also be cohesive, portable, and textual.

All of these properties encompass what we think of as a magazine experience, and it can be transferred to app and even web platforms, such is the case for I Like Crochet and even TIME, which have magazine-like web experiences.

A table of contents helps makes it linear, while having a beginning and an end to the issue makes it finite. And by releasing it consistently you have a periodic publication. Additionally, a magazine is made cohesive by making sure what you’re delivering in your premium edition is well curated and edited, and offers the reader the premium experience of content. Also, a magazine can be portable whether it’s in print, on a tablet, or read on the web via a mobile device.  Finally, magazines and magazine articles are “ text first;” photographs are ancillary. This will not change as magazines are delivered on the web and through apps.

Do you want to learn how to turn your magazine into a multiplatform magazine?

Mequoda is the most well-known consultancy and development company that specifically transforms magazines into multiplatform publishers. We have built our own Haven CXMS, a state-of-the-art SaaS tool built, owned and maintained by Mequoda to enable all the functionality that multiplatform publishing businesses need to be successful and profitable.

If you’d like to discuss how we can help you build a profitable magazine subscription website and multiplatform niche media business, please schedule a no-obligation appointment with a member of our consulting team.


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