Magazines: where have they gone?

Photo above: YM Magazine, and American teen magazine, folded in 2004 after being on newsstands for 72 years. The above issue is dated February 2001.

Going through an old box of books, I found a stack of magazines from my childhood. Of course, each one was entailing some teenage dramatized oddities about how to get your crush in P.E. class to like you and had a teenage boy band like The Backstreet Boys on the cover.

I would wait in vain for the next issue to arrive in the mail every month and eagerly read it front to back the second it was delivered.

Do I still buy magazines today? Not really. There has to be something in an issue that I would cherish and prefer to own in print if I’m going to buy it. With the magazine industry at my fingertips on my laptop, I have no real desire to pay for a subscription. It’s the sad truth.  After all, my dentist practically gets every magazine anyway, so I catch up every couple months on print issues.

The magazine industry has completely transformed since I was in the sixth grade. YM Magazine (as an awkward kid going through puberty, I absorbed every article) is no more and magazines have slowly gotten smaller in size as well as changed their content.

With society having a high demand for instant gratification, how can magazines even satisfy our sweet tooth for multimedia, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, music previews, breaking news, you name it.

Paper issues can’t deliver streaming music videos, movie previews, news conferences and reporting on scene.

So where does that leave the magazine industry? Well, lately blogs have taken over the world meaning citizen journalism has increased immensely and special interest blogs are taking the place of magazines like Domino—a magazine focusing on design and decorating—which folded in 2009. People read what they want to read and blogs are specializing in taking people places they can’t necessarily go in a magazine.

A blog like The Design Files, which discusses art, design and decorating is updated daily. To keep up, magazines have to editorialize online to keep readers up to date day-to-day on their favorite topics and interests.

According to Magazine Publishers of America, the number of magazine websites continues to grow with an increase of about four percent in the last four years.

However, not all magazines are allowing free web browsing. TIME only allows a preview of articles online but if you wait a week or two,  it becomes available to the general public.

For those publications that are divulging online like New York Magazine—which is typically a slim issue in print—has endless links, articles, videos and streaming to local events and news in New York.

Where the magazine industry will end up is hard to predict but for now, we at least know it’s online as well as in your hands.

Photo taken by author of this blog

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