“Los últimos 12 meses han sido un tiempo de nerviosismo y angustia para los amantes de las revistas, con el cierre de Premiere, en otros tiempos lectura obligada para los amantes del cine y la salida de Portfolio, la nueva revista económica para mujeres de Conde Nast, que está poniendo las pilas a Vanity Fair e incluso a Forbes”…
El Chicago Tribune publicaba este martes un interesante artículo de Nara Choenberg sobre el momento presente (y las perspectivas futuras) del mercado de revistas en los Estados Unidos. Lo copio y pego completo para ahorrarle a quien le interese los protocolos de registro online:
We lost Premiere but gained Portfolio. We got a redesigned Time, the Suri Cruise baby photos, and the Paris goes to jail story. We got the world in a half-hour (The Week) and the regional dog scene in its every nuance: BocaDog, Naples Dog, The Hollywood Dog, The Colorado Dog, The New York Dog.
The past 12 months were a time of excitement and angst for magazine readers, with Premiere, once a must-read for movie lovers, closing, (although an online version will remain) and Portfolio, Conde Nast’s much-hyped new business magazine, bursting onto the scene with a fat, glossy first issue that reportedly already has Vanity Fair beefing up its business coverage and Forbes planning a business magazine for women.
“If you read that magazine – and look at what they’ve done – it brings back belief in the printed word,” University of Mississippi journalism professor Samir Husni, publisher of MrMagazine.com, says of Portfolio.
“It has been quite some time since I’ve seen a magazine that captivated me literally, which I actually had to sit down and read – it’s not just fun to look at.”
Not everyone agrees. The New York Observer called the first issue of Portfolio “vapid,” for instance. And while celebrity magazines are going strong and local and regional magazines, such as Naples Dog, are proliferating, print magazines in general face a potential threat from the (often) free journalism and commentary available on the Internet.
But the numbers, at this point, are somewhat encouraging: Overall magazine circulation has risen slightly (1 percent) in the last 10 years, and the number of pages of advertising has increased 15 percent, to 245,000, according to Howard Polskin, the senior vice president for communications at Magazine Publishers of America.
Tribune interviews with a half-dozen leading editors suggest a mood of guarded optimism.
“While I do think online content could overtake newspapers, I believe that print magazines – because they are less ephemeral and more enduring, because they are more beautiful, because they offer perspective and amplify what people get elsewhere – will not be overtaken in the same way as newspapers,” Time managing editor Richard Stengel said by e-mail.
Here are some of the things Stengel and other top editors told us in e-mail responses about trends, the Internet and other influences in the world of print magazines.
–Bob Cohn | Executive editor | Wired
PRINT VS. ONLINE: “First, we’ll watch and learn from the newspaper industry, which faces much more serious and imminent competition from the Web. Beyond that, magazines have at least three things going for them: The marriage of design (lush photography, cool typography, inventive illustration) and words is much harder to capture online; your screen – whether it’s a cell phone or a desktop or a tablet – is a lousy way to read long-form journalism; [and] the magazine is the ultimate form factor – portable, rollable, tearable. Physicality is good.”
–Richard Stengel | Managing editor | Time
TRENDS: “I think we’re exemplifying one trend, which is a cleaner, more navigable design, and a more premium feel. Magazines go into people’s homes, and, at least for a newsmagazine, it needs to feel timely and timeless – in a sense, it’s like doing a monthly that comes out weekly.”
MORE TRENDS: “Of course, the other trend that is ubiquitous is how to transition magazine content online. I more and more think that online readers don’t want print translated into digital content – they want content unique to the online medium. So, for us, it’s how do you translate the qualities of the brand … into unique content for our Web site, which is now 24/7.”
–Janice Min | Editor in chief | Us Weekly
INFLUENTIAL EDITORS: “One of the most influential editors – and I’m not just saying this because I work for him – is [Rolling Stone founder] Jann Wenner. … And secondly, I’m just going to say a name everyone else says: David Remnick. Even if you aren’t reading his magazine, the New Yorker is so well-regarded that it’s the only magazine where intelligent people feel deep, existential shame if they don’t have a subscription.”
PRINT VS. ONLINE: “Online will eat into print, but it will never destroy it. Until people want to take laptops to the beach, there will always be room for magazines.”
–Will Dana | Managing editor | Rolling Stone
TRENDS: “To me, the big rule right now is that you can’t be bland and you can’t suck. There is a huge rush in the industry to think of your publication as a brand, and then extend that brand onto platforms. This is obviously a crucial thing to be doing, but in all this thinking about how you are going to reinvent yourself, you had better not forget about what got you established in the first place.”
PRINT VS. ONLINE: “Print will continue to be the primary engine of the magazine business, as long as we continue to offer great stories, great photography and great editorial packages.”
–Bill Falk | Editor in chief | The Week
TRENDS: Shorter stories, especially in the front of the magazine. More emphasis on perspective and commentary, and less on original reportage, scoops , and long-winded essays. Downsizing of staffs.
PRINT VS. ONLINE: “Readers still find print magazines more convenient, more portable , and more pleasurable to read. At The Week, we recently found this out the hard way, when we ran an online-only issue as an advertiser-driven promotion to coincide with Earth Day. I was inundated with angry e-mail from subscribers who said they loved reading The Week while commuting, in bed or on the toilet.”
–Cindi Leive | Editor -in chief | Glamour
TRENDS: “Three years ago, everyone was saying, ‘Oh, give it another year, and everyone will be sick of [celebrities].’ Nope! They’re still what’s selling. It’s a collective language – a way people talk to each other. No matter where you are, the lady next to you on the bus has an opinion on Lindsay Lohan.”
MORE TRENDS: “The different ways people buy magazines. (Supermarket trips are down, etc.) To keep selling at newsstands, magazines need to take risks – sell in different places, etc. Why shouldn’t you be able to buy a beauty magazine at the makeup counter? Or shop a “newsstand” on Amazon.com?”