In 2009, according to David Carr in The New York Times, magazine ad revenue was down 25%. Lots of business revenue was down 25% in 2009 so this statistic may not seem that startling. Not unless you look at the performance of magazines over the last 7 years. 25% down in a business that’s been down by single and double digits for years and years in not good. Reminds me of the car business. Magazines need to do something. And fast.
The user interface of a magazine is superior to that of a Blackberry or iPhone — paper recycling aside. Magazines are not going away. Cars aren’t going away.
What’s the difference between a publisher and a curator? About a hundred grand. Publishers are overpaid magazine dude(ttes) in a hemorrhaging business while Curators are underpaid Web content presenters in a growth business. If people with these two titles switched jobs for 6 months they might actually improve their respective lots.
I often simplify marketing down to two factors: Claim and Proof. For magazines (on and offline) I simplify the business down to Reporting and Presentation. Magazines, to thrive, need to find out what their Claim is, mine the Proof, have that proof Reported by experts and Present it in new and exciting ways. Peace!