Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
16 October 2017
Time Inc cuts issues, and it’s the right thing to do
Well, this can’t be good for the publishing industry, can it? Time Inc announces it’s reducing the number of issues for Fortune, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly and many of its other publications.
Reducing costs is the aim, spun to say Time Inc will publish more robust issues. Its flagship magazine, Time, will stay at 44 issues per year, but reduce physical circulation by a million. Sports Illustrated, though, drops by 11 issues. Fortune becomes a monthly. And Money will drop at least one issue.
This is gotta be bad right? I mean, the publishing industry loses subscribers all the time anymore. The internet provides instant information, meaning magazines (and newspapers) struggle to remain relevant.
However, this makes sense. The publishing industry needs to change to its model. It can’t rely on providing breaking news. It’s the same problem facing newspapers and the nightly news. Everybody already hears the news before your newspaper drops at your doorstep, your magazine arrives in your mailbox, and the nightly news airs.
OF COURSE, media needs to change its model.
“But the media conglomerate is right. Its position must change or it becomes irrelevant. Or simply dead.”
Time Inc and its publications evolve into something different and better
Mainstream media must be in the information and analysis business. I am not suggesting, however, that Time Inc and the like become similar to those argument cable news shows. But the real thing.
I am a subscriber to both Time and Sports Illustrated, but I read them digitally. Cutting the number of issues you actually print makes sense. But when I read them on the iPad, there’s often too many of the old standbys with a life span of nothing. Time Inc may be cloaking its true intentions (cutting costs) by saying readers “aren’t interested in more issues, but interested in higher quality issues.”
But the media conglomerate is right. Its position must change or it becomes irrelevant. Or simply dead.
The key to successful branding is being different and better. That’s what will keep Time Inc and its magazines alive.
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