Friday, April 14, 2006


Magazine and Publishing Stuff, and How We As an Industry Are Wallflowers in the New Media Dance Drinking Caffeine Free Diet Cola

101 New magazines have been launched in the first quarter of 2006

Is this high or low? Beware press releases without context! "Mr. Magazine" tells us what's going on
If you don't know Dr. Samir "Mr. Magazine"™ Husni, go here

The founder of Rolling Stone discusses the future of print magazines in the WSJ

Author starts publishing her own books and e-books... will publishers be needed in the future?

India story about digital technology in the printing industry; mentions EFI's software development there

Hello? Anyone listening? Forrester Research and the Association of National Advertisers did a study about the effects of the (my words) disintegration of TV advertising as a result of DVRs (digital video recorders like TiVo for those in the audience who don't understand these TLAs [three-letter acronyms]). What's an advertiser to do? Where shall they spend their dollars to reach their audience? Search the press release: nowhere are the words "print" or "magazine" or "mail" to be found. The release has this sentence
"As new and traditional media alternatives compete more aggressively for a share of the media pie, and marketers look to improve consumer targeting, reduce costs and enhance accountability, television is aggressively responding."
Can we replace that word "television" with the word "print"? Nope, not a chance. Will anyone other than me rise up in the business and say something? For all of the money and time people spend and volunteer on associations, is anyone getting anything out of it more than meetings or press releases? Go to the Print Council site (not which is something else, but and count up the press releases that discuss the comparative effectiveness of print media compared to others with something hard that a media analyst or marketing manager can use. As of 11:18am edt of April 14, 2006, the answer is 0. Using current dollars (the inflation-adjusted dollars are too painful), that's $3.5 billion in "lost" shipments since December 2003.
To contrast this, go to the Interactive Advertising Bureau site and look how many reports they have
ad:tech is in two weeks in San Francisco. Look at the exhibitor list: Look under "P" or "T" to see if the Print Council is there. For that matter, try to find any printer's name or other association.
Show details:
I'm often asked "have we hit bottom" or "are things leveling off" and "will things turn around." If we ignore what's been happening to us and don't step into the new marketplace with both feet and claim a space as our own, it's our own fault.

We need a good shot of this stuff


Sadly, much of the audience suffers from what I call "ostrich effect".
Alternative media, including broadcast and the internet, has been whacking the industry for years, and it intensified sharply 18 months ago. One-by-one, the segments they fall.
With all the iron sitting on the floors of plants out there (still depreciating), no one wants to tell the investors about not-in-kind technology/competition.
There's a paradigm that we can always sell our way out of this temporary stagnation. "I know, let's drop our prices!"
There are some bright spots in terms of companies and some durable segments like packaging, but alas, the general state is now decline. Capturing opportunity with change and reinventing with strategic agility is not a strong suit of the industry, Joe.
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