January 20, 2006
I am a voracious reader, especially when it comes to trade magazines related to this industry. 10 years ago trade pubs were my primary source of information to keep tabs on competitors, but also as a source of info to educate myself about the latest technologies and trends.
I don't profess to know much about the magazine publishing industry, but I can't help but notice three trends that must be having some sort of impact. First, similar to mainstream magazines, as our industry matures, the trade magazines have fragmented with magazines dedicated to a wide range of special interests (digital cinema and extreme sports to name just two).
At the same time, because of the immediacy of the Web, monthly magazines are challenged to be able to provide news in a timely fashion. As an example, Creative COW and Digital Media NET both had reviews of After Effects 7.0 within hours after the official Adobe announcement.
The last trend is a little more ominous. Unlike general magazines, trade pubs do not derive much revenue from subscriptions. Maybe it is just me, but it seems like each month many of the magazines I enjoy reading are getting thinner and thinner. This is not a complete surprise given the general industry trend that is shifting advertising dollars from print to the Web.
So where am I going with this? Today I received the latest issue of one of the magazines that I have been reading for over 15 years; Film & Video. The letter from the editor informed readers that this would be the last issue in print and that they would be "moving online" http://www.studiodaily.com/filmandvideo/ While many magzines have an online presence; I am intrigued and admire Film & Video's decision to let go of their print legacy and focus on taking advantage of the immediacy, personalization, and richness (video reports) that the Web offers.
Is this a sign of the times?