Daniel Bower is Head of Publishing at eConversions. He’s also an old buddy of mine. Here, he responds to my post on the Future of Magazines, explaining why he thinks there’s life in the old dog yet, why the new tablet platforms seem to understand the inherent value of the magazine, and why device wars imminent.
“From what I can see, niche magazines have seen a bit of a resurgence in recent years. The success of Monocle and Tyler Brule’s new ‘lifestyle brand’ approach to publishing, the re-launch of Wired in the UK, and the innovative Stack Magazine are just a few of the sector’s recent successes.
In an age when we swap and share news in a matter of seconds, it’s no wonder that newspapers have struggled to keep up… but magazines have never had to deal with this problem. Their value has always been in the longer, essay-style piece; information that can – and probably should – be consumed over a longer period of time. Readers inherently understand this role – magazines sit on coffee tables and in bags, and are saved for moments when the user (too soon?) has more time to appreciate them. Magazine readers also understand the time and effort that has gone into producing them. They are displayed on living room and offices shelves with pride, rather than in the recycling with corn flake boxes.
In short, people understand the value of magazines. Which suggests that they also understand that they’ll have to pay for them. And therein lies the market.