The Latest Threat To Magazines

If the Internet doesn’t kill magazine publishing, magazine publishing will kill magazine publishing. MagCloud is a print-on-demand, do-it-yourself service (so it isn’t technically do-it-yourself) that allows ordinary, otherwise non-media people to upload .pdf pages and then turn those pages into a magazine. The gist:

It costs you nothing to upload a magazine. The base cost of buying a magazine costs about 20 cents per page, plus shipping ($1.40 per copy up to nine copies; $13 for a box that can hold 100 magazines). Magazines are printed, full-color, on 80-lb. paper stock and saddle-stitched.

The creator of the magazine can then set the price per issue, earning all proceeds above the base price per issue. Individuals can sign up for a free account during the beta period, while publishers can request an invite to the site.

Folio has more. So on the one hand, it’s just old-school ‘zines with better distribution and higher quality. On the other hand: murmur.

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Comments

5 responses to “The Latest Threat To Magazines”

  1. IAB says:

    Internet definitely has the upper hand on newspapers. It’s worthless to flip through the DMN print product because the news is yesterday’s wires. I don’t do the DMN website because the ads constipate the experience and forget about using a smart phone on most newspaper websites. I’m done with newspaper subscriptions (although that may change when football season starts).

    Magazines on the other hand are about good writing, tips, tricks, things to do, places to go, lifestyles to live. They are far from the regurgitated wire crap newspapers push.

    I don’t know how magazines as a business are performing, but if anything kills the magazines, it might be the magazine prices. Yesterday, I wrote a lot of $5.99 checks for 1 year subscriptions of the same magazines I paid $12 or more for last year. Mags like Esquire, Details, Entrepreneur, Mac|Life, for less than $.50 delivered? Yay for me, but wtf are they thinking? I hope they realize that while newspapers shrink, magazines should be flourishing. It’s nice to get a once-a-month product that gets me to read it off line, carry it under my arm to and from various bathrooms and then end up either archived or in the recycling bin.

  2. jb says:

    I agree. Doctors’ offices and baber shops would be chaos without magazines. This, however is a great idea. I can’t wait to publish my dream magazine that focuses on steak, light porn, football, beer, and gardening with a little welding and auto repair thrown in for good measure.

  3. Bill M. says:

    I buy magazines for the same reason I troll websites: Content. What can I encounter there? Will its grab and hold my interest? Will i remember it and come back for more? It seems to me a disproportionate amount of energy is being invested in the means of delivery and almost none on what’s being delivered. It’s like the days when stereos first appeared in dens and living rooms, and guys would spend hours screwing around with amps and woofers and tweeters. Hey, what about the music?

  4. AJZ says:

    Magazines will only survive to the extent they can become as personalized as other media are becoming. The Allison Publishing Empire should pay close attention to MagCloud and its ilk. Sure the day cannot be too far off when those who still want a print version of a magazine will be picking and choosing the content they want (by individual story, etc.), be it on some sort of next-generation Kindle device, a flexible screen that roll up and be carried like a magazine, or even a print-to-order volume on actual paper. Either way, the content is going to have to be flexible enough to be individualized on demand. Think TiVo for the print media. The same way I skip over commercials with my DVR, and only grab shows I’m actually interested in, I’m eager for the day I can skip all the plastic surgery ads in D Magazine and only read the stories I’m actually interested in. And that day is coming.

  5. Bill M. says:

    How can readers “be picking and choosing the content they want” unless someone picks the content to present to them? I value certain magazines because I don’t know what content I’m gong to find, and yet somehow always find something interesting. I wouldn’t be interested in a magazine or a website that only I select. There’s no surprise, no opportunity to learn anything.
    Once again, this illustrates the fatuity of this obsession with packaging.
    I watched a commercial this evening that was funnier and more surprising than three hours of programming.
    We’re in danger of “self-selecting” ourselves to terminal boredom. It’ll be like staring endlessly into a mirror.