Going Digital-Only Out of Necessity

PC Magazine made news last week when parent company Ziff Davis Media announced that print editions would end early next year after a 27-year run. The reality is that the vast majority of revenues and profits derived from PC Magazine come from the online arm. Is this a taste of what might happen to countless magazines and newspapers in the future as higher costs and smaller circulation bases make print products unprofitable?

As much as we like to hold on to traditions, unprofitable traditions are not of much value. In the case of print media, it is possible that the print product can only be sustained if it is reinvented in some way. In the case of newspapers, a greater focus on local news or other local content seems to be the point of difference on which they can stand. Niche magazines are likely to survive longer as they have always had smaller, but highly interested, audiences. As costs rise and customers hold purse strings tight, nothing should be off the table when evaluating profitability of various forms of product distribution. It could include the tough choice Ziff Davis made after nearly three decades of a print version of PC Magazine.

Link: The New York Times - "PC Magazine, A Flagship for Ziff Davis, Will Cease Printing a Paper Version"

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