In yet another sign of the times in the print magazine business, New York Magazine will be making two major changes in order to return it to profitability 1) beginning In 2014 New York will only print 29 issues annually as opposed to the current 42 issues. Larry Burstein, New York’s publisher said it will save the title $3.5 million dollars, all of which will be re-invested in to both the print and digital editions. 2) There will be an increase in Newsstand cover price from $5.99 to $6.99. The subscription price of $29.97 will not change despite the reduction in frequency. According to Burstein, “New York will focus on its three special issues devoted to single topics (best doctors, gift guide, food and drink); 20 percent more editorial content; a new fashion section, the Cut; and new columnists.”
Those concerned about the reduction in frequency shouldn’t be. The fact is, the world has changed and the requirement that New York Magazine remain exactly the way it’s always been is simply unrealistic. Printing bi-weekly with three specials will only make the magazine more streamlined and better able to compete in a more competitive world. According to New York Post Website, “company executive confirmed that the magazine lost around $1 million dollars this year.” Obviously changes were necessary.
In the brave new world of print magazines, only those able to adapt to the changing world will survive. As a former colleague use to say, I want to be 39 again but that just isn’t the case. The new world of magazines will embrace both print and digital and use both to enhance, not destroy each other. Now that we have several years of digital behind us, it’s become clear that digital alone will not keep the magazine industry thriving. There is simply too much stimulation in the world of the internet; a million apps and many millions of websites. The chances of a digital only newsstand surviving without print is highly improbable. Magazine publishers need to figure out the proper mix of print and digital before it’s too late and all really is lost.