Death of the print industry

Death of the print industry

Things are, especially if you live in Britain, pretty crappy at the moment. We’re in the middle of a global recession and our government is crumbling away in front of our very eyes. Inked, Kerrang and all those lovely shiny magazines can make it all better. But can they last?

I don’t know about you, but one thing that always makes me feel better about, well anything are my magazines. Vogue, Harpers Bazzar, i-D, Inked, Kerrang…

The problem is that the Credit Crunch has forced clothing designers and similar corporations to cut their advertising budgets, and the only way a magazine makes any money is from advertising revenue, because sales really only pay for the production of the magazine and won’t even pay all the staff. This means that many of our favourite magazines and newspapers may be in danger of closing down as the economic situation worsens.

I read many different magazines, but I have always, every month brought my copy of Vogue. However for the last two months I haven’t been able to justify the pretty substantial £3.90 (which is a whole 20p more than an issue would have cost me before the economic downturn, and a whole 50p more than when I first started buying the magazine in 2005.) Why pay out the £3.90 when I can find all the information I need to stay in the loop and informed for free online? Because of immediate online updates, people have no longer seen the need for the institution of the print magazine. Two weeks ago I went to Clothes Show London, and while I was there journalists were running up to the press lounge to instantly update blogs and industry websites as the action happened. The same was true at London Fashion Week; websites were being updated while models were still on the runway and Fashion TV were running an almost live stream of the show.

As the editor of an online magazine, I should actually be very happy about this – my readership figures have been notably rising. However, I’m pretty upset about it. This summer i-D magazine are cutting their costs by becoming bi-monthly, and this June’s issue of Plan B magazine will be the publication’s last. Even in the new upcoming series of Ugly Betty (an american show about a fictional fashion magazine) the clinch of the industry is being felt with fears for the future of the fictional Mede Publications.

Online blogs and magazines are the future of publishing, but will the industry be a better place without print magazines? Is reading an article and looking at pictures and photographs really the same as holding a glossy paged, shiny covered magazine in your hands and flipping through the brightly coloured photographs and pages of text?

At a time when we are all tightening our belts are we going to let this precious and inspirational industry die? Or is it an institution that has outstayed its welcome and should move over to make way for the technological future?

Plan B Magazine, we salute you

Inked – Still going strong? We hope so