Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Digital magazines redefined

Wonder about what makes up a digital magazine these days? The Audit Bureau of Circulations has changed its definition with the iPad, Kindle, etc. in mind, according to MediaWeek. The auditing group has dropped its demand that digital magazine be identical to the print version, merely that it include the same content and advertising.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ready for some good media news?

Certain segments of the magazine industry -- yes, old media -- are doing very well. Think "nature, sustainability, throw pillows and Miley Cyrus." According to the Standard Periodical Directory, the past few years have seen a big jump in titles from home decorating, energy, conservation and celebrities. Leading the way was the home decorating area with a jump from 123 titles in 2005 to 337 titles in 2010. Leading the slump in titles was "sex-related titles."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Milwaukee Magazine offers an aggrated local news site

Very interesting move by Milwaukee Magazine to launch an updated daily local news site that editor Bruce Murphy says will be "in the magazine's long tradition of smart, fun, fearless journalism." And, he says, "we expect to have fun." The site,, "will conveniently combine the top stories of the day, aggregating articles from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee Business Journal, Wisconsin State Journal, Daily Reporter and many other publications. Plus, a daily column sums up coverage of the day's biggest story, what it means and why it's important." It will be fun to see if it can keep up its energy. I hope so. Competition at a professional level may drive out some of the phoniness that keeps being repeated on the Internet. But it takes a lot of staff to keep up, and, frankly, I don't see much change tonight when I checked the site again.

New survey kicks up a lot of dust

Pew's annual "state of the media" report has prompted hand wringing of all sorts. Gawker (as part of a nice summary of the report complete with a couple of the better charts) says the future is: " Facebook wall rants, celebrity tweets, Glenn Beck and the blogs that talk about these things. But it's all freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" Fishbowl focuses on the disparity between revenues lost old media and the pittance (less than a tenth as much) being spent on new media to imply that news is dying or dead. And the Associated Press highlights a finding that people don't want to pay for news.

My only quibble is that surveys such as this are a slice of what's happening now, not what will happen in the future if the variables change. For example, AP always has the same stuff as People magazine, and it's reported all over the country (also on at least three television shows). But, somehow, the magazine manages to get readers to pay for it. Completeness, convenience and coverage will control the future, delivery systems be damned.