Is The Digital Age Making Print Magazine Obsolete?

Are there people still reading newsstand magazines like Time or Newsweek?

Maybe, but they may not be as many as they used to. Why? With technology advances and the development and emergence of technology-based gadgets that provide access to almost any reading material, some people no longer see the need to read print magazines. If you can read the same magazine content on your iPad or your smartphone, why buy the print version?

Do you still have that yearly subscription to any of these print magazines?

Digital Vs. Print Magazines
And that thinking probably was one of the reasons print magazines had a setback and lost a huge share of their customers. In fact, even before the iPad first came out, Kindle had already been killing paperbacks as it offered readers the opportunity to enjoy their favorite bestsellers anywhere, anytime without the hassle of bringing bulky books around with them. The convenience of having everything in one storage device which you can flip like a real book had presumably driven its instant success – and the demise of printed reading materials.

The Need To Touch And Feel The Pages
For some people however, while they enjoy the convenience of reading magazines and books in digital format, there’s still something about touching and feeling the pages that make the print versions still incredibly appealing. There are those who still prefer to get their magazines all wrapped in the special plastic bags sideweld bag making machines produce. People from the UK for instance are still subscribing regularly to a variety of US magazines although the number may not be as impressive as maybe 7 or 10 years ago.

For some people, there is something about flipping the pages of the print magazines.

High Subscription Rates Of Print Magazines
But the subscription costs can be limiting. A UK resident subscribing to a US magazine will probably have to shell out $110 per year for the printed version. Compare that to a yearly subscription of $60 for the same magazine in digital format. For that alone, digital versions definitely offer a more attractive deal because of the substantial savings.

Or not necessarily so. Some printed magazine subscribers have identified several problems and a disappointing reality with digital magazines.

Forgettable
Unlike print magazines, the digital versions are just so easy to forget about. After reading it and putting it back in the folder, you completely forget about it. Print magazines can be tossed on a coffee table after reading, or neatly stacked in a special magazine shelve of some sort. Anytime you feel like reading an interesting article, you can easily grab an issue from those stacks and read it. Digital versions are often stored and hidden away from the reader in different folders, depending on which magazine you have subscribed to. And if you are not keeping track of what’s coming in from your subscription, it’s easy to just lose it.

digital_magazine_publishing_tools

After reading an e-book or magazine, it goes back to the folder and forgotten.

Flaky Downloads
This isn’t a problem in Korea where the slowest Internet speed is 8mbps. Downloading digital versions there can happen in a flash. But for digital magazine subscribers with slow Internet connections, this can really be annoyingly painful. Digital magazine providers still have to figure out ways to make the process seamless.

Portability And Convenience
Some people don’t carry their iPad or other reading devices all the time. And if they do, some digital versions require online access to be able to read the downloaded magazine issue. Print magazines can be easily rolled and tossed in a knapsack or bag for quick reading while traveling for instance. And can you read the magazine using your iPad when you’re soaking in the tub having a warm bath?

Not User-Friendly
If the digital magazine company has not addressed navigation issues, subscribers can easily cancel out of their subscription. You flip the pages of the magazine and presto, you’re reading what you want. No need to navigate complex site architecture.

Are you a print or digital magazine reader?

Article Sources:
http://www.ibtimes.com
http://www.macworld.com

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Camryn Shea
 

Is a longtime business consultant and a writer who loves to read about the Maker Movement that’s been made possible through technology. In her free time, she enjoys antiquing and touring vineyards.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Shane

Whether or not print dies, its business model will. Physical waresnewspapers, books, magazines, discswill no longer be the primary or most profitable means of delivering and interacting with media: news, fact, entertainment, or education. It’s not that print is bad. It’s that digital is better. It has too many advantages (and there’ll only be more): ubiquity, speed, permanence, searchability, the ability to update, the ability to remix, targeting, interaction, marketing via links, data feedback. Digital transcends the limitations ofand incorporates the best ofindividual media.

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Moses

I am not quite sure whether this is an objective article that weighs the pros and cons of both print and digital mediums, or whether the author is siding with one medium or the other. I prefer the digital medium simply because it produces less clutter, but this medium does have its disadvantages. You can never really keep and secure any imagery unless you pay for cloud storage. If you attempt to store it on your own drives or discs, you are at greater risk of data loss.

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