The Influence And Consequence Of New Media On Glossies


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An essay about the influence and consequence of new media on glossies and magazines.

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The Influence And Consequence Of New Media On Glossies

  1. 1. The influence and consequence of new media on glossies Made by: Tamara Bakker Artie Gajapersad Manou Lourens Linda van der Meer Lisa van Winden
  2. 2. Introduction The assignment for week three started by dividing the topics around the question that Sofie Spindler asked: Is the medium really still the message and have digital media and interactive media influenced and pushed and reinventured the structure of the classic magazine format? To answer this question we had to be critical about the literature we were going to use and we had to come up with at least one alternative question. In this essay we try to answer the question what is new and what isn’t new about the question we selected. There are some subjects we want to discuss in this preface, like the definition of new media, the influence and consequence of new media and the considering of newness. New media New media is the designation for digital, computerized, networked, interactive and communication technologies of the twentieth century. This is only a short summary of the term new media, there are more than hundred ways to define this designation. ‘From clocks to telegraphs to radio and television, new media have always woven themselves into everyday life, interfering with existing patterns of spatiotemporal organization, generating new rhythms and spaces’ (Lister, 2003: 237). New media can be seen as new ways to make connections with and to the world. These days the intensity of change is very high. New media makes the world smaller and at the same time bigger, because people have access to all communication systems. An example of new media which makes the world smaller is Skype. People use this medium to have video conversations all over the planet. An example to make the world bigger by using new media systems, is for instance the search mechanism Google. You don’t have to go to your local library anymore, because you can look into thousands of different books all over the world by using the Internet at home. The most distinct question Lister asks by measuring newness is: ‘How do we know that something is new or in what way it is new if we have not carefully compared it with what already exists or has gone before?’ (Lister, 2003: 46). We think it definitely is necessary to look at the traditions of a process, to come to a well found conclusion about the newness of media, because most new things are reproduced or developed or comparable by other and earlier designs.
  3. 3. What isn´t new about the problem with glossies and new media that Spindler discusses? Spindler discusses that, with the rise of digital media, the traditional format of glossies will change or even disappear. As we all know the internet is becoming more and more powerful and has its influence on the creative industries. But is this a problem? And if so, is it a problem from the last few years? Print media is a part of the creative industries that has gone through so many changes since their beginning. First the change from only using text to also editing pictures, then from black and white to colored printing and so on. It has always been very important that the print media kept up with society. Therefore the traditional format of print media has already changed so much since it was introduced. So, now that the internet and other digital media are rising, should we be worried about print media and the traditional format? Or should we embrace the development and use it to make glossies more interesting and modern? Spindler wonders what the new digital media will do to glossies. Off course that’s an interesting question and perhaps digital media will lead to some big changes. This is, however, not the first time print media had to adapt to society. Spindlers question about the consequences is not a totally new question. Everyone within the print industry wonders what modern times will bring for their product. And as I already discussed this question has been asked for as long as the print media exists. Not only glossies but also newspapers and other magazines notice the rise of digital media. Already you see some changes online. A lot of newspapers use the internet to publish their articles. Important to notice is that it makes news a lot more interactive. You can see clips about the news and directly discuss about the subject with other users ( This way the internet is not a replacement for the print media but a complementary good. It makes the print media more interesting and more active. For glossies this means they can use the internet to give more background information with their stories. The traditional format of the glossy still remains the same that way. There will always be new inventions and new ideas which will lead to changes in the original format. This always has been the case and it always will be as long as society changes and develops. Glossies will develop with us and so, despite new media or other new changes, it will always be the question what this changes will mean to the traditional print media.
  4. 4. The influence of the Internet on glossies Research has showed that the reading of printed media has diminished over the past 30 years, while the use of internet has increased. The reading of magazines, as part of the printed media, has also diminished deeply. Following graphics illustrate this statement. If you look at the graph above, you can see that the computer is getting more and more important after 1990. At the year 2005 it is almost as big as printed media, because the printed media keeps decreasing after 1990.
  5. 5. In the second graph, the one above, you can see that the share of the magazine and the share of newspapers keeps getting smaller. It isn’t the case at differtent types of printed media. Books are different every year, in 1985 it has decreased, but in 1990 it has increased again, and so on. The commercial handout stays constant. Question is if the new media are replacing the printed media. We have the opinion that the online media cannot be seen as a replacement for the printed media. The new digital and interactive media should be seen as an extension of the classic printed media. By linking the new media to the classic media there can exist a positive effect that works both ways. Unique of the Internet is that it is very interactive. The consumer gets the idea that he or she is involved and can have an input. A lot of glossies make use of the interactivity of the internet. An example of a glossy that makes use of the Internet is ‘Cosmopolitan’. In the back of the magazine they pay attention to the website of the glossy ( On the website you can read more articles, interact with other readers by the forum, subscribe to a newsletter and you can take part in contests. Every month a ‘Cosmopolitan’ appears. In the time between the appearances the people of ‘Cosmopolitan’ try to keep the readers of the magazine interested through their website. The website can be seen as an extension of the magazine. On the website you can also look at a preview of the glossy of this month. In this way ‘Cosmopolitan’ tries to stimulate buying the glossy through the website. The website is an enhancement to the glossy and the glossy in its turn is an enhancement to the website. The new media can be seen as an enforcement of the printed media and should not be seen as a threat. What should (glossy) magazine publishers do to succeed in the digital age? The publishers of media and it’s consumers are well aware that the consumers are shifting towards digital media. Traditional consumer magazine publishers who want to anticipate on these consumers who are making use of digital media, will have to make changes in the way it operates. It is clear to everyone that the interest in content of digital media is growing quickly, and publishers cannot ignore this fact. The industry have been acting in different ways in response of these new developments. There are few publishers who have obtained other publishers or titles in order to increase their mass (The medium is the message, 2008: 25). There are also magazine publishers who have been trying to launch new titles, especially new magazines for consumers with a
  6. 6. special interest. This trend is likely to be seen more in the future, as the online competition is going to increase, forcing many publishers to refresh or renew their offerings. We have noticed that certain magazine publishers have also a place in digital spaces and are trying to leverage their brands by launching multimedia formats from which to generate addtional revenues (The medium is the message, 2008: 25). The industry faces some difficulties in making the transition from printed press to digitalization. So are most of the magazines subsidizing their online activities with revenues from other parts of their business. Besides, investing in web presence is requires a significant capital end therefore has major implications for the publishers’ financial position. The magazine publishers who are willing to step in the online world need to think carefully about how to invest in building a digital platform and be ready to invest for the long term, because on the short term it does not cover the costs. There are also organizational issues. The companies which have made the greatest progress in digital offerings are the companies which have integrated their print and digital media operations. These companies are having employees who are able to write and produce content for different media. However, the majority of magazine publishers still maintain separate teams in producing media. There is a team who works on printed media and there is a team who works with digital media. The reason for the separation is that traditional print employees find it difficult to work write for digital formats. Such companies are having a hard time in handling the changing preferences of their audience. So, companies who are able to integrate their print and digital operations are more capable to capitalise on back-office synergies and to stay close to their readers (The medium is the message, 2008: 28). The transition to digital media requires different skills. It has showed in research done by PriceWaterhouseCoopers that women are willing to pay for digital content on mobile devices. Possibly because a mobile device fits easy in a handbag. So the women glossies publishers should look at the possibility to produce digital content that is suitable for mobile devices. It could widen their range to access consumers. However, women expect to pay less for digital content than for hard copies alone.
  7. 7. Literature PriceWaterhouseCoopers. 2009. Investigation. The medium is the message; Outlook for magazine publishing in the Digital Age. Checked on:23 november 2009 Lister, M., J. Dovey, S. Giddings, I. Grant & K. Kelly. 2003. New Media. A critical Introduction. London: Routledge. Examples of new media: Graphs: Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau Checked on: 23 november 2009 Checked on: 23 november 2009 Question by Sofie Spindler: