Our news magazine is losing readership. We need to decide if we’re going to keep it or create a magazine that is tailored for a niche audience? What arguments are there for and against demassification? Pick a side and argue your point.
Demassification is how media is being broken down into different sub categories that society creates or moves towards. Times change and all mass medias needs to change too. Many young people don’t read news papers anymore and our news magazine is dealing with a loss in readership as well. We need to change with the times and try and find a niche market so we don’t go completely under. Staying the same and hoping for the best is business suicide. Our magazine needs to update and become relevant again. Personally I feel newspapers are on the way out and it will be hard to find many still in operation in ten years. If our magazine is being compared to the newspaper than we have to figure out what modern readers are still needing in a magazine and zone in on those needs. The internet provides everything print has so there needs to be something printed about in our magazine that compels our readers to get that information from us and not the web.
I like the point you make about the drive for readers to get information from the magazine and not the web. I wonder what those would be? The only time I really buy a magazine is if I need pictures to make a collage or something. Either that, or the answer to my question I needed is right there on the shelf and it would be easier to buy the magazine than try to search for it on the internet. That being said, even when a magazine is published, it quickly turns into an online version or people copy their stories and post them on the internet. And of course, internet versions are so much more convenient than carrying a bunch of subscriptions around.
I also believe that we need to change with the times, yes my grandparent’s still get the news paper delivered to the front door but I think that is because it is what they have been accustomed to, but I think my generation and the one after me will be more accustomed to the digital age more than the steady dog fetching the paper.
Magazines, now let me rant for a moment most the time I see them is at the doctors office because the cost of a subscription keeps going up as the cost of print and less being printed needs to be maintained, supply and demand. I get one in the mail from time to time or I pick one up when I am standing in line at the super market, but when I open one it discuses me most of the time, old news things that I have already read on line. to me they are a waist of paper they are printed on, and there are piles of unsold books at the dump site every week.
To me we need to stop this waist of print and go to a place that we know that the information will be up to date and without polluting the planet with so much unread printed waist.
Definitely we need to look towards utilizing e-mediums to get us back in the game. Transitioning costly 20th century printing technology for scaling computer architecture will help lower our costs. There will be a lead time for getting this technology online so probably getting some investors or taking a loan would be the best bet.
There are pros and cons to demassification. It can benefit the number of readers we have by directing stories towards our main readers’ specific interests. Then, the readers won’t have to pick through a general list of topics. I like magazines that have more than a few interests that pertain to me. Unless the story is the headlining one, I probably won’t buy it if I can’t get more than a story out of it. I also think that our stories written by students could be the most enjoyed by the university. If we find out what most interests students and tailor the stories to their needs, we should be much more successful.
The downside is that to really increase our readers or maintain what we have, we may have to have several published magazines and outlets. I don’t know how much money we have for that. For example, if one group of our readers is really into video games and the other is into cats, it would make sense to split those two and focus on them, rather than to try and merge two topics with little in common. But, if we did have the resources to branch out the number of magazines we have, and if we have enough staff to upkeep them, I would say that we could benefit not only by our number of readers, but also financially! Therefore, I would say the best idea is to figure out who are readers are and make multiple magazines that pertain to their interests.
Glad you went into yours cons more — really depicts how much work would be required if the demassification was done extremely and created such a specified niche.
In today’s mass media I wonder if it is in fact old news, what we read in new peppers and in magazines, because to me it is like “a day late and a dollar shortâ€ because with Facebook and mobile media everything is blasted on line faster and edited quicker than a magazine will ever have the time to go to print. And with so much talk about saving the environment and printing less paper, like most bills or bank statements going paperless I do wonder if it is a waste of time to print anything anymore.
Things can be published on line to a select group of consumers faster on the net and within a select forum of information selected to target that group by sending out mass email to select the groups you want to solicit, and you get faster feedback with a more positive results when you poll your readers towards what information that they would like to read about and what information you can delete from online print.
With a magazine you have a limited social group with even a more limited forum of information and even with that information I see printed in magazines I see hash tags and web page links to access their information from a more open source on line, so yes I do believe that the way of the magazine is getting more and more limited as time goes by.
We need to break out of our shell and evolve along with everything around us; look at other newspapers and magazines for instance. A lot of them are also minimizing the print options that they offer and choosing to go the more modern route with internet and website pages, and I think we should follow. There’s a reason that many other companies are making the change and it’s because they know that newspaper or magazine print won’t be around much longer in the new modern age of tablets and cell phones. Now, with that all being said, we should still try and differ our company from the others when we decide to merge into more of an online based magazine. I think it’d be important to create an interactive app of some sort that allows our customers and readers to find the articles they are looking for quickly, just like a regular magazine layout. Even though many other companies may also be following the trend and soon we will all be competing the same way again, at least we are still in the game and fighting for to keep readers and customers intrigued; if we stick with a print version then we are sure to go under rather quickly.
Exactly. If there is no intrigue and mystery in our operations our customer base will loose interest. We will loose customers if we do the same old thing all the time, but if we progress too quickly we could also loose customers who think the change is too much. Creating a more accessible product will aid in our customers ability to adapt as we change.
Years ago, I used to read more print magazines, both subscribed and purchased off the newsstand, along with some pass along. These days, I read much more online content. If Haveman’s news magazine is losing readership, to the point of considering pulling the publication or perhaps adapting, such as with a retool for a “nicheâ€ audience, I would strongly encourage an online presence of some manner, regardless of the magazine type.
Few completely online magazines thrive and make profit today but many magazines with both print and online editions do well. I would recommend exploring this sort of arrangement. Some online magazines provide much of their content free for viewers to read, and provide subscription access for those who subscribe to the print edition, or a special online subscription, for the print content. I would recommend a similar set up.
Specialized, or niche, magazines, tend to have a better chance at survival — if done right — versus the broader news magazine format that has big competition with a loyal subscription based. A well-researched main focus, paired with high-quality, relevant and timely content could do well. If the focus is current and popular, the magazine could be an advertising magnet. I think the key would be to do market research and examine current trends and to predict what the hot niche topic will be that would make for a good magazine. If the topic is well chosen, for a specific target market, and if high quality content is provided, there are consumers out there willing to pay for a premium magazine.
The downsides to switching gears for a specialized magazine is that there are already a lot out there, more than 7,300, according to the text. And, it seems we are in a transition time as more and more people read content online, especially younger readers. For such a move to succeed, I think the overall subject matter selection is key as is providing the online content.
NOTES FROM READING THE TEXT
– Average number of minutes per day a typical adult spends with magazines is much less than with Internet.
– Overall print circulation is falling — newspapers
– One hundred and fifty-two magazines closed in 2011, another 176 in 2010, and a disastrous 596 in 2009 (Sass, 2011e). (Page 98).
– Young people are increasingly consuming all media online
– Tactile, take it with you, no blinking screen, no power needed
– Magazines were truly American’s first national mass medium
– 7,300 +/- specialized magazines in existence today
– Magazines cannot match reach of TV
– Specialization and lifestyle orientation
– Magazine advertising ranks first in making a positive impression; more Americans trust magazine advertising more than TV and Internet
– Magazine specialization exists and succeeds because the demographically similar readership of these publications is attractive to advertisers. Advertisers want to target ads for their products and services to those most likely to respond to them. (Page 105).
– Most magazines, 83%, now produce online editions offering special interactive features not available to their hard-copy readers
– Advertiser-supported cable channels survive using precisely the same strategy as magazines–they deliver to advertisers a relatively large number of consumers who have some important demographic trait in common.
I think we need to embrace e-magazines to get us back on track. That way we can capitalize on this exploding and emerging market.
I agree all magazines need to have an online presence as well as the print version. The few magazines I have time to look at are usually ones like New Pioneer which is a niche magazine about people who choose to live off the land and a magazine I get about the new car vehicles. I do occasionally want to read something and grab a magazine but I mainly do online research and reading. Melding the two worlds of print and online is most magazines only hope of survival.
I agree with the fact that purely online magazines seem to fail and die out, whereas those with the option for print and online, or like the text mentioned, special codes or links to “more exclusive” online material, seem to thrive much better. Embracing the new technology can only help.
Although it would be nice if we could continue publishing our magazine for the masses, I think it is time to look into making some changes. I believe we should look into some of the areas we are the most successful and cater to these readers. Who is reading our magazine? Is it a certain age group? Is it women/men? What is their life like? Are they single? Parents? Students? What are they reading about? Are they reading editorials? Self-help articles? How-to stories? These are important questions. When we have answered these, we will be able to publish a magazine or magazines that appeal to these people, and to new readers with the same interests. This will enable us to sell our advertising to the advertisers who will be the most interested in marketing their products to these people. I believe this is the only way this magazine is going to be able to stay afloat in this technological age. There is a place for us out there. We just need to find that place or those places.
I think you make an excellent point for us to find out exactly who, where and how many our magazine reaches and to tailor our product to them. We want our loyal customers to stay with our magazine, and we want to continue to profit.
We need to change the way we publish material. We are losing with our current style of production. We need to create generalized material that appeals to a wider audience to ensure we don’t go bankrupt. When we become successful again, we can begin branching into niche markets. The reason why we can do this is we can subtly begin pushing our readers further into our production line. This can only happen if we cast a wider net and begin generating articles along the line of mass consumption firms.
As a result of continuous losses over the past five years and falling circulation the Board of Directors has completed an analysis of the pros and cons of demassification to return our flagship magazine to profitability. To keep the status quo would result in financial collapse of our magazine business. As a result of this analysis they concluded that demassification is the best option going forward. For this plan to be successful it will be critical to identify the niche market to target. It was recommended by the Board that young college education professionals would provide the best opportunity to regain market share and result in increased readership. With young professional being our niche market we will adapt to the new technology by making it accessible on all electronic platforms. This should also result in better targeted advertising in that this group would have a higher disposable income and advertisers would pay a premium to tap into this market. With QR codes and NFC chips becoming more popular in magazines today, advertisers will realize the benefits of incorporating these strategies that should result in higher profitability for both the magazine and advertisers.
On a personal note I think that magazines will be obsolete in 20 years due to the availability of information online.
Many companies go out of business because of their refusal to change as the market changes. With how things operate in our modern day it is all about convenience and efficiency. With our target market being less willing to go out of their way to obtain our magazine, I feel we need to make the contents of our magazine more accessible. Like many other magazines have already done, we should make our magazine available online. This does change the novel idea of reading a magazine, although I don’t feel we need to loose that all together. This needs to be a subtle transition for those who have been with us since our first print. We don’t want to advance so quickly that we loose those readers who are the most loyal. Our magazine should be available via print and online until further notice. This may be a more costly way to run the magazine for the moment, but in the end I feel it will be more inviting for our loyal customer base to change with us as the times change.
When looking at this type of situation, I believe there are both pros and cons. But ultimately, I think that we need to advance technologically. While magazines were once a very big part in staying connected to what is happening throughout social media, most will argue that the internet has completely taken that place. We could sit here and think about smart ways to gain readership through a printed magazine, but I believe it is smarter to advance along with other top brand magazines and head to online magazines and subscriptions. At this day and age, magazines are not nearly as big of a deal now because of the internet and people moving to online based subscriptions. Technology is only going to continue to advance and take the place of printed newspapers and magazines. I believe we need to follow the growth of technology to continue readership and ultimately productivity of this magazine.
I would say that we continue on the path that we’re already on with the magazine being for a mass audience. Even if we’re not gaining as much of an economic profit as we previously were, we’re bound to still have more of a sudden pickup rate and general weekly readership then a niche magazine. You might really like sofas, but I doubt you’re gonna want to read sofas weekly as much or as frequently as you are the general news, whether it’s for work, school, or even just for fun.
If we’re to perform any kind of specialization, the most I can advocate is perhaps converting into an alternative weekly. Such a shift would allow us to keep a local focus, and deliver news and commentary that matter to the community. At the same time, we’d be able to embrace an arts and events focus that would potentially increase readership, especially among younger, harder-to-court demographics.
Most alternative weeklies are distributed for free, so if we make this change, we’ll need to create a new plan for revenue primarily based on advertising, which is the mainstay of most such publications. It may make more sense to attempt launching the weekly in parallel with the standard newspaper, and then phase out our regular publication if the weekly gains momentum.
I would have to agree with the general consensus that demassification is a part of this world we are in, and to be able to continue as a competitive voice in the market we must strongly consider becoming more specialized and creating a niche readership. What content are we covering now? Do we have some kind of open feedback forum that is easy for our readers to convey what is working, what isn’t working? Then we can progress from there to be able to narrow our field (not too narrow, mind) and work towards building a stronger readership — knowing our audience or choosing our audience is the majority of the battle at this point.
I think demassification just makes sense. As a magazine, we should have a niche audience. We’re not broadcasting the news, we’re having conversations. Our niche can be focused on the way we communicate more than the subject of focus of our communication. Doing this would allow us to expand on various subjects and opinions and not limit us to discuss things such as “sofas” every week. Our target audience can be ones who value a specific form of expression such as comedy or dramatization, or we can have different sections of the magazine have difference elements to them, one section being comedy, another being illustrative, another being columnist style. The options are endless.
The Haveman Chronicle (Summer)
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