Another trade mag goes? Who cares?

I’ve been reading some terrific articles about the future of the traditional “trade press” in the past few weeks, and you may well enjoy the debate too. While many people have long been predicting the demise of 100%-ad-supported print magazines, What B2B advertisers really want from media on The Marketfarm Blog suggests an intriguing reason why old media specialists are doing so badly: “It’s not just because there are too many other choices. It’s because industrial marketers aren’t interested in their survival.”

This is the logical extension of what’s happened over the past ten years: if the main place your prospects are looking for information is on the web, and your site can be as prominent as any from a magazine, then why publish your content on their sites …when you can publish it exactly the way you want, exactly when you want, on your own site? We’re all publishers now. If third-party publishers want our content (never mind our advertising), they need to provide a good reason for us to give it to them. And they simply haven’t done so.

3 thoughts on “Another trade mag goes? Who cares?”

  1. Chris, we have one vestigial print-ad still running. It will probably be our last (though some blue collar market segments are still not very ‘net savvy). The magazine in question now sends us an email to tell us to check out our appearance online – because they care for the trees and don’t want to be sending out excess printed copies. Go figure!

    More generally, the decline of the main stream printed press concerns me (though I’ll exempt Murdoch from my concern!). The reason it is worrying is simply that without the big dailies, where will the resources come from to fund the in-depth investigative journalism that makes the fifth estate an important element of democracy? Citizen journalism has a new and exciting place in real-time reporting, but cannot provide the in-depth work. I find it hard to see television replacing all investigative aspects of print.

  2. I think the paid-for printed press has a future, especially if it concentrates on what it’s good at (analysis). There are enough people out there who want to see certain sectors of the press continue to exist to sustain a market for it. What this article points out is that with the trade press, there aren’t enough people out there who care about its survival.

  3. Nothing beats the thrill of flicking through a printed magazine to see what’s in there; and it’s much easier to read an indepth article in print. I never read a full article online but print it off. However for the latest up-to-the minute news I’ll go online every time, so I’d concur with your comment about printed press for analysis.

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