Technology Trends: The Future of Magazines

Printed magazines are declining. Earlier this year I put printed newspapers on my Technology Death List. Magazines are suffering the same fate. As ad revenues are declining, partly due to the recessions, and the subscription base is shrinking for some (see A Graphic History of Magazine Income Over the Last Decade). The reasons is simple. The Internet is taking over some roles of the magazines, as people increasingly prefer the net as a medium. But if you take the distribution channel away and look at magazines as content, there is no reason magazines can’t survive in a new digital networked world. If fact magazines might even be reinvented in the new medium.

Now Time magazine has given us a preview of what the future might be (see Demo of Time Inc.’s Manhattan Project). Future, as in next year, that is:

The year 2010 will likely be the year of the netbook tablet, something like an oversize iPod Touch with a 10″ or 13″ screen (see For 2010, IDC Predicts an Apple iPad and Battles in the Cloud). Devices like this will be perfect for reading newspapers and magazines.

I wrote about book disruption in a previous post. One conclusion I came to was that new forms of story telling might show up. Interactive mediums offer much more opportunities than a liner restrictions of a book (or a magazine). Maybe this is the way for newspapers and magazines to reinvent themselves in the new digital channel.

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