8909052197100New media in the magazine industry Trends and Strategies in the Creative Industries15-01-2010Stefanie van der Flier336309 ContentIntroduction3Summary4Literature view5Chapter 1What are the features of a classic magazine?5Chapter 2What kind of influence do new media have on the classic magazine?7Chapter 3What are the advantages of new media?9Chapter 4How can the magazine industry use new media? 11Conclusion“Have new media influenced and reinvented the structure of the 13 classic magazine format?” Empirical research14Financial proposal15 Recommendation16References17 IntroductionIt is well-known and widely discussed: the media landscape is changing due to new media. It is a fact that online magazines and other new media are becoming more popular than ever and they influence the magazine industry. But what we don’t know for sure is how much influence new media actually have on the traditional formats and what the developments will be in the future. Will the printing magazine still exist? According to a survey of the World Association of Newspapers electronic publishing is the number one issue facing newspapers worldwide. But can the same be said about the magazine industry? This paper will review the influence of new media on the magazine industry and see if there is way that print and new media can work together. The focus will not be on the glossy magazines only but on the entire industry, because I believe this will provide more information that might be useful. The following research question will be answered in this paper:Research question“Have new media influenced and reinvented the structure of the classic magazine format?” Summary In this paper attention is paid to the way new media have influenced and reinvented the traditional magazine format. A question to this answer was tried to be found by doing a literature view. The literature view contains information about four different areas. First the classic magazine has been discussed, which is a form of mass media that provides only one-way communication. The classic magazine format still has some advantages from new media, like the experience it brings, the high quality information and more. But despite the advantages we have seen that there is an influence on the magazine industry coming from new media, which is the next topic. We see this influence for example in the overall decreasing revenues of the publishers. The cause of this comes both from the decline in circulation as the decline in ad pages which is in turn caused by the arrival of new media. So now publishers begin to experiment with new media, lots or magazines are going online. New media do have a lot of advantages from the classic magazine, like the technological abilities of new media open ways for globalization. They reduce the distance between sender and receiver and maybe even more important they change the distinction between the roles of sender and receiver. So in contrary to the classic media formats, new media provides two-way communication and gives consumers the possibility of being producers. But new media also gives access to large amounts of information for free and is 24-hours available. And now it remains to see how magazines can actually use new media. Online magazines are most common, but it is hard for publishers to make this profitable. Other new media that can be used are for example mobile wirelss , QR codes and more.From the previous we can conclude that the classic magazine still has got some advantages which make it not likely that the printed magazine will disappear anytime soon. But new media do influence the magazine industry and that is why publishers should pay attention to it and try to see it as an opportunity to enrich their print magazine instead of a threat. Recommendations at this point can only be based on the findings in the literature view. I would suggest investing a lot in new media, because they are the future. The print magazine will remain the central product so the new media must fit with the magazine. I would recommend to research and invest in QR codes, because they are relatively new and can be integrated in the print magazines. In this way it is also possible to create a customized cross media package. Literature viewResearch question“Have new media influenced and reinvented the structure of the classic magazine format?” In order to give an answer to the research question this paper contains a literature view on the subject. As said before, new media is being widely discussed, therefore we can get a first proper view of new media and the magazine industry by looking at what has been said in the literature. The research question will be answered using the following questions:- What are the features of a classic magazine?- What kind of influence do new media have on the classic magazine?- What are the advantages of new media?- How can the magazine industry use new media?Chapter 1What are the features of a classic magazine?Magazines are a form of mass media. This means that a very small number of production facilities produce large amounts of identical copies of communications, which could be efficiently sent in identical form to a very large number of readers. In this model there is no room for opinions or observations from the readers, it is one way communication (Benkler 2006).The classic magazine format as we still know it dates from around the 17th century. In this period magazines weren’t yet used for the consumer market but they were more a way for scientists to communicate with each other, so they were scientific journals. Around the 17th century the first consumer magazines were published (Van Delft, Van Dijk & Storm, 2006). These were entertainment, opinion or satire magazines. In the second half of the 18th century more specialized magazines were published, like business magazines. But also the amount of cultural magazines for a wide public grew and in the 19th century illustrations in the magazines made them more and more popular. Through the years the magazine industry extended with magazines focused on niche markets. One example are the women’s magazine or glossies (Bakker & Scholten 2003). A traditional magazine as it has been develop over the years can be described as a periodical, glossy or serial publication. Magazines are generally published on a regular schedule and contain a variety of articles. They are often financed by advertising, purchase price or magazine subscriptions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magazine). Two other important aspects of the classic magazine are that it is published in print and as said before it only provides one-way communication. These are probably the most important feature when discussing the difference with an online magazine, because these terms are also the key difference with between traditional and new media (Olsen). When we look at the revenues of magazine publishers we can state that there are two large sources, which are circulation and adverting. The publishing industry itself depends highly on specializing on marketing expertise. In this industry small companies can compete with large companies by specializing in niche markets. On the other hand benefit the larger companies by having a wide range of magazine titles to offer advertisers (www.hoovers.com – Industry overview: magazine publishers).The traditional format has got a few advantages from new media. These advantages should help the traditional magazine to keep their heads up. First to read a printed magazine the reader doesn´t need a computer, a phone or internet access. The only thing needed is the magazine itself, which the reader can take anywhere he or she wants. And in this technology economy a lot of people already spend very much time behind their computer, for example for work or their study. So it can be relaxing for them not to be behind their computers for ones and read a printed magazine. This is also part of the experience a printed magazine provides to the readers (Olsen).Another advantage is the fact that reading printed pages is far more convenient than reading from a desktop. According to Liesbeth Tetteroo (2002) people experience reading from a desktop as unpleasant. The size and the quality would be the cause of this. These findings are also established by Geert Poort in his book ‘Writing for the web’ (Poort 2003). He even states that reading from a desktop takes 20 to 30% more time.The last statement about print magazines is that reading a magazine is also about quality. When people buy a magazine they know it has been written by real journalists and research has been done before the article was published. This quality can be assured by the fact that people pay for this information and the revenues can be used by the publishers to pay for the expenses of research and qualified journalists. Unlike the general public they are trained to identify credible information and pure news and information. So journalists are needed in their job as gate-keepers and maybe even more than before because of the extreme amount of information on the internet (Lichtenberg 1999). Chapter 2What kind of influence do new media have on the classic magazine?In the technology society we are living in, new media is changing the media landscape. Although the previous chapter described what the advantages of the classic magazine format is, we can’t deny new media also give a lot of opportunities. These will be discussed later, but now we will just look at the influence new media have on the magazine industry so far. The biggest influence of new media on the classic magazine format obviously comes from the internet. But before we discuss the influence of we have to distinguish what new media actually is. Instead of traditional media, which is the media that relied primarily upon print and analog broadcast models, such as television and radio, new media is totally different. New media is a term meant to point out the emergence of digital, computerized and communication technologies (Manovich, 2003: 13-25). Internet is a form of new media, but it remains hard to define the term new.The fact that new media have an influence on the traditional magazine is already noticeable when doing just a little bit of online research. The topic of the battle between print and online is very hot and a lot of comments are made. The battle is already on for over a decade. One article posted in 1999 on the website www.questia.com already defined the downsizing of the magazine industry. According to this article large magazines like National Geographic, Reader’s Digest and Family Circle have lost about 20% of their subscribers in just four or five years. Ten years later in 2009 ‘The State of the News Media – annual report on American journalism‘ described that the news magazine publishers are in a steady decline with the profitability of their print publications. When we look at the revenues on the ad pages, the report states that ad pages decreased across the entire magazine industry by an estimated 12% in 2008. The decline cut across most magazine categories, with just only a few exceptions. In all, just 18% of magazine tracked by the Public Information Bureau showed some increase in the ad pages.The decline also shows in the circulation of the printed magazines. Only some types of magazine focused on niche markets added readers, but magazine intended for mass audiences had a readership decline in 2008. This in contrary to the revenues from digital platforms, because suggested was that they are a small, but fast-growing part of the business of publishers (The State of the News Media – annual report on American Journalism 2009). On the website www.guardian.co.uk there is an article with the title ‘ABCs: Women’s glossies record strong performances’. This article was posted in 2008 and it claims that overall the glossy women’s magazine sector increased with 12,1%. This is trend is very different from declines the other sources tell us, but it can be that the decline is most visible in the news magazine industry and not so in the glossy magazines. Although also the glossies make their way to online strategies they have proven that print magazines are still a very healthy business. But we must not be too happy about it, because the revenues from ad pages in the entire magazine, show very disturbing figures. The total magazine rate-card-reported advertising revenue for the first half of 2009 closed at $9,095,979,740, posting a -21.2% decline against the previous year, according to Publishers Information Bureau (PIB) (Press release from the issuing company 2009).Until now we have seen in this chapter that the magazine industry is downsizing and that this trend has already started before 1999. But this is just the influence that new media can have on the revenues of the magazines. When we look at the format of the magazine and the business of the magazines, we can see that publishers are also already trying to change their offers for over a decade. An article published in 1999 by Lichtenberg, who was the managing director of the Netherlands Press Fund, states that of all the print media that is going online, magazines are probably the fast growing online industry. In 1999 there were already 4500 magazines on the internet (Lichtenberg 1999). In ‘The State of the News Media – annual report on American journalism 2009’ we see that these changes still exists today. This rapport states that the publishers turned in 2008 with urgency to online operations. In many cases the operations went a little bit further than just improving their online portals. They experimented with new business models for digital distribution of content. Some even moved from print journalism by cutting back the numbers of print issues (The State of the News Media – annual report on American 2009). This move away is very important when discussing the influence of new media on the classic form of media, because although it is still a small group, in this case the classic magazine format is being replaced instead of enriched by online sources. Later we will see what the results are of the experiments in the magazine industry. Chapter 3What are the advantages of new media?From the previous chapter we see that there is no denying in the influence of new media, it is still hard to tell how much this influence is, but we do know it is there and it is growing. New media can be seen in two different ways: as a threat or as an opportunity. In this case it is useful to see what the advantages are of new media, so we can discuss later how publishers can use this to enrich their current magazine in the future and offer a divers media package.At the beginning of this literature was mentioned that one of the major differences between classic magazines and new media is the fact that new media can provide consumers with tools to do more than just receive the information. They can now select the message, respond to the and even create their own information. It is no longer one-way communication but two-way interactive media.There is no clear sender or receiver; these roles are getting blurred (Croteau & Hoynes 2003). In this case the consumers or receivers become producers themselves. Another term that is often used in this case is interactivity. Interactivity is at the ideological level one of the key ‘value’ added characteristics of new media. The term stands for a more powerful sense of user engagement with media texts, a more independent relation to sources, individualized media use and a greater choice (Lister 2009). One term that is often used in relation to new media is globalization. Technological abilities of new digital media make it possible to extend all local, regional and national boundaries and reduce the distance between the sender and the receiver. In this way they can cross cultural boundaries. (Croteau & Hoynes, 2003: 401-410). This is also partly due to the fact that new media provides two-way communication for the users and now they are not even bound by national borders. But new media brings more advantages.New media are a source that provides consumers a platform that contains information about almost any topic. The internet is opening new ways to search through enormous amounts of information coming from all over the world and at much higher speed than the traditional media. It enables users to get relevant information right into their own computers and new technologies can create more personalized and direct ways of distributing the information. The main part of this is that this all, in contrary to the print magazines, happens without the interference of a journalist. People don’t have to wait until the next issue of a magazine; they can get information right away, 24-hours a day. This brings us to the next advantage of new media, because there is no interference with a journalist, people can get the information for free. Of course there are online magazines that do charge the consumer or charge them for extra information, but many don’t have any fees (Olsen). For people who are not able or not willing to pay for their information or just want more background information, internet is a very good alternative.New media also provides publishers a new way to attract advertisers. On the internet, advertisers can communicate at a fraction of the cost in comparison with trough the print magazine. They can track the impact of their message by counting how many consumers click and link their ads through to e-commerce sites (Kansara 2009). If magazines use their tools wisely they can provide advertisers a platform for this and make good money out of it.What we have seen before is that new media can be interactive. Interactivity is a way to social media. This type of media contains online platforms that make it possible for users to share information with each other by using highly accessible publishing techniques. Not only information can be shared, but also sounds, pictures and videos. Examples of social media websites are Wikipedia, Facebook and Twitter. In most cases the users determine what the content of the website will be (www.social-media.nl). The reason why social network sites are so popular is because they give their users the opportunity to articulate their existing communities. In an article of Boyd and Ellison (2007) about the history of social network sites they argue that the participants on many large sites participants are not necessarily ‘networking’ or looking to meet new people, but they are more often primarily communicating with people they already know (Lister 2009: 215).In the next chapter we will see lots of examples of how the magazine industry can use and integrate new media. The fact that new media provide so many options also means that publishers can use them for cross media. Cross media is a media property, service, story or experience distributed across media platforms using a variety of media forms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossmedia). Chapter 4How can the magazine industry use new media?In the previous chapters are the features of the classic magazine discussed, the changes in the magazine industry researched and the advantages of new media outlined. Now we can look at how the magazine industry can use new media in the future. In 1999 Lichtenberg wrote: ‘many publishers are not yet sure whether they should push or follow electronic developments. However, those new developments will not leave them untouched as soon as readers or advertisers ask for more targeting or facilities in electronics’. From this we can state that even if the publishers doubt new media, it would be wise to do something with it, because otherwise they eventually will be forced by economic forces like their advertisers. When we look at the exact tools of new media online magazines are the most famous and widely used at the moment. But creating an online magazine sounds easier than it really is. Just copying the printed version on the internet will annoy the users on the long term. Nowadays design is very important, a bad designed website will drive users off. But only design is not enough, they key is to offer more than others (Lichtenberg 1999). And this is where it gets especially difficult, because what can they offer that others don’t. Cosmopolitan for example has got a very interactive website, with things like games, forums and many more. They differentiate themselves from others by adding some new features, like the virtual dressing room.Another difficulty online magazines face is that although the delivering of content is much cheaper online, the content itself — which is why readers are there in the first place — remains very expensive to produce. And while online readership is rising, the internet culture of free access to content means magazines earn nothing from online subscriptions and must cover costs through advertising alone. Unfortunately, the sale of online ad space alone simply doesn’t generate enough income (Kansara 2009). A way to solve this might be when no online magazine will give away information for free, in that case readers are forced to pay for quality information. But there are more tools besides online magazines, like for example mobile wireless. HEARST magazine is a publisher that experimented with this new media tool. Business manager of HEARST Brand Development said: ‘these new technologies such as the larger screens and the color capabilities open up the possibilities in terms of the applications we as content providers build to drive the interest of these users. We can now build services that are exciting and true reflection of our brands. In this case is clear that the technology is being used to get new readers or users.Another new media tool that is still relatively new is QR codes (Quick Response codes). QR codes are codes embedded in print that can link cell phones to specific websites. At this moment they are mostly used in Japan by commercial companies, but there are magazines that are completely made of QR codes. The reader will be lead trough the ‘magazine’ by scanning to various articles, games, pictures, music and other content. QR codes could mean a lot for the printed magazine in the future.A website that used the internet very efficiently is Maggwire. This an integrated system with over 10.000 magazine titles and 200 million American readers. Maggwire uses social intelligence to recommend articles to the readers that are likely to enjoy. The recommendations are based on the reader’s historical preference. People can rate articles with 1-5 stars and as they do, Maggwire begins to build a personalized profile of interest. With this profile try to predict what other articles would meet your interest (maggwire.com). A last method in which magazines can integrate new media comes from Sports Illustrated. Time Inc., the company behind Sports Illustrated created a view on how the future magazine would look like, which can be seen on youtube. In their opinion magazines in the future will be offered on a tablet. This new type of magazine is actually an integration of online magazines and print magazines. So in this view neither of them will ‘win the battle’, they will melt together. The new magazine contains lots of visuals and articles and people can choose what to read by using a touch screen. In contrary to the other examples this new media tool doesn’t exist in real life yet, but it probably won’t take long.In the context of this paper is it not possible to name all the new media tools that can be used by publishers, but the previous examples should give the impression that the sky is the limit. Although the technologies for new media like the tablet of Sports Illustrated doesn´t exist yet, it probably won´t take long. Magazine publishers can use new media tools from anywhere between a ´simple´ online magazine to new tools like the QR codes in Japan. Conclusion“Have digital new media influenced and reinvented the structure of the classic magazine format?” In the literature view we have seen that the classic magazine has got a long history and a profitable industry. Although the industry is changing the classic magazines still got some advantages, which make it likely to conclude that they will continue to exist in the nearby future. At this moment the classic magazine still looks the same as it did before new media came, but as been said before the industry is changing. Magazine publishers are losing revenues and some see the arrival of new media as a threat to industry. Instead of looking at the downside of new media, we can better look at the advantages and opportunities new media bring to the magazines, because the arrival of new media doesn’t necessarily mean that the printed magazine have to go. The two need to be an enrichment of each other instead of competitors.These days online magazines seem to be a must for every magazine, but it needs a lot of attention and hard work otherwise it will exist for nothing. But we have also seen that publishers can do more than make an online version of their magazine. As technology is evolving the opportunities will probably be endless and therefore we can state that it is very important that magazine publishers invest in new media so it can be integrated in the business model. But these investments of new media must fit with their main product, which still is the print magazine. Still a lot of consumers favor the print magazine and that will not disappear overnight. Empirical researchIn the time limit of this paper it is not possible to do actual empirical research, so instead this paper provides an advice for empirical research that can be done in the future. As we want to answer the research question with empirical research my advice would be to create a new media pilot, for example mobile phone applications. First need to be decides what kind of new media would fit the magazine. To do this I would recommend working with focus groups. Before the actual focus group sessions employees from the magazine can already think about some new media types that are in favor, so you can see how the group reacts on the ideas. The groups can also discuss what kind of new media will fit the target groups and the magazine. In my opinion two main focus groups are necessary: one group with people from the target group of the magazine and one group that is specialized in new media. From the last group it is important that they do have a connection with glossies. To really get a good response that can be used for further research or experiments with new media, I think it is necessary to do a total of eight sessions: four with groups of people from the target group and four with groups of media specialists. In each group need to be around eight people.The topic of the focus groups will be: “How should a future magazine look?”Assuming that eventually new media will be chosen, whether or not inspired by the focus groups, it needs to be implemented in the business model. But in my opinion it is best to create a pilot before implementing the new medium into the business model of the magazine. A pilot allows capturing faults or it can give information about how the target group feels about it. After creating the pilot you can test it on people from your target groups, maybe by a questionnaire. This part of the research will not be added in the financial proposal because the costs will depend highly on the conclusion from the focus groups. Financial proposalThis financial proposal is surely based on the empirical research by focus groups. The idea of creating a pilot can’t be implemented in this proposal because it is not possible to make an estimate of the costs when we don’t know yet what kind of media the pilot will contain. JobCostPreparing for focus group€ 3.200,- (40 à € 80,-)Finding participants for the focus groups€ 3.200,- (40 à € 80,-)Providing inspiring material (videos, powerpoint, print magazines)€ 960,- (120 à € 80,-)Working materials (room, paper, pen, video)€ 500,-‘discussion’ leader€ 6.400,- (80 à € 80,-)Reward for focus group€ 500,-Evaluating focus group€ 6.400,- (80 à € 80,-)Total€ 21.160,- Recommendation With all the examples that were given in the literature view it must be clear that there a lot of options to enrich the classic glossy magazine. I would recommend investing in new media, because they play a big part in the future. In this way a customized cross media packages can be created by the integration of different new media types that fit the glossy magazine. Cross media is important because in this way not only the needs of the readers can be satisfied but also the needs of advertisers. As we have seen an online magazine creates not enough ad revenues to finance the quality information glossies need to deliver, but I would still recommend making an online website, as an extension of the print magazine. Online magazines and mobile phone applications are already widely used and that is why it can be useful to invest in something that is relatively ‘new’ in the world of new media. One opportunity lies in QR codes. At this moment these codes are only used in Japan, but it is not a weird thought to think that the codes will be used in other countries in the future as well. That is why it is good to already invest in this new medium to keep up with new technologies. It is also good to keep ahead of the competitors and do something that is not already done by every other publisher. Another advantage of QR codes is the fact that they can be integrated in the print magazine. It is a new, inspiring and in the future maybe very profitable which can be used to create a specialized cross media package. This is why I would recommend investing in it. ReferencesBoekenCroteau, D. & Hoynes, W. 2003. Media Society – Industries, Images and Audiences. LondenLister, M., J. Dovey, S. Giddings, I. Grant & K. Kelly 2009. New Media. A critical Introduction. London, RoutledgeManovich, L.e.v. 2003. New Media from Borges to HTML."
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