Two of the publications I read monthly have decided to pull the plug on their print editions, and will be “publishing” on-line only.
Each has handled the transition differently.
World Radio has sold to CQ Magazine, is stopping Print Publication in favor of a Free Webzine Version, and is transferring the value of one’s paid-ahead subscription into CQ Magazine print subscriptions (or other items of value).
PC Magazine has not been sold, but is stopping Print Publication in favor of a Fee-Based Paid Subscription Webzine Version, and is transferring the value of one’s paid-ahead subscription into Paid Subscription Webzine Version subscriptions , with an option to get a refund (which also means loosing the reader).
Two poor implementations of mistaken strategies.
In the case of World Radio, it was on my reading list because – it had a human angle to it, it was a “reader’s newspaper” magazine, rather than an arts & crafts graphic designer’s folly, it was timely, portable, and fun.
In the case of PC Magazine it was on my reading list because it was topical, inexpensive, had some gems in between the marketing drivel, my kids enjoyed reading it after I was done and it was, well “fun.”
Unless I am an anomaly , it is never the web where I turn to read lengthy articles.
A Webzine is less portable to the places I end up doing magazine reading – between appointments in some waiting room, traveling, in my ham shack while monitoring the bands, at the lake or on the Island where Internet is often unavailable or simply having a quick read before putting one’s head down to sleep.
World Radio does have one thing right – they recognize that they cannot successfully levy a fee to read their new Webzine.
PC Magazine is gambling that they can levy user fees.
I know in my personal case I have let my World Radio Subscription meld into extending my CQ Magazine subscription and in the case of PC Magazine I have told them to send me a refund.
Things change, that is certain, and media products will change formats. They also will fade away if they get it wrong.