It’s the second week of August and you know what that means. The first half of the year reports from ABC have landed and everyone who is anyone who has the slightest interest in magazines, print media and the future of print media (And access to a soapbox) has an opinion:
They all say pretty much the same thing. Let’s focus on newsstand. Everyone’s an expert! Sales are down. Sales continue to go down. This must mean something. Fewer trips to the store. Less impulse buys! More digital! Prices are too high!
There’s plenty more where these came from, but I thought I’d grab some links from the first page of a Google search and add in a few from my own incoming e-blast links.
As an aside, just when the article from Audience Development that I linked to got interesting by discussing the importance of the future of Scan Based Trading, the author opts to leave it for another time. Frankly, the resolution of that issue is the one that could decide the future of our business. But it’s more fun to write about numbers, apparently.
If you’ve seen my Twitter feed over the past week, you may have noticed that in between rounds of budget preparations, print order closings, marketing updates, new launches (Yup, we still do that!) I’ve had a pretty specific opinion about all of this coverage. Statistics, as we know, can be made to lie like a politician. These particular numbers, however do not and we ignore them at our own peril. I’d be a fool to try and dispute them. Our friends at MagNet back these numbers up. Although they do point out some interesting, very positive trends in between all of this doom and gloom and I thank them for that. But the causes and effects of what is happening in the industry go so much farther and deeper than what gets reported. I’ve lived in this world for most of my professional life and I am still not 100% sure of everything. But I do have an opinion (which I’ve expressed here often enough).
I’ll leave it to you discerning readers to interpret it.
But, in closing, I’ll leave you with some thoughts from the very insightful, envelope pushing Mr. Conan O’Brien (Note: If you’re the impatient type, fast forward to the 1:20 mark):