Archive for Evan Rudowski

Is Newsweek dead in the water with its digital-only title?

Posted by Evan Rudowski on January 2nd, 2013 at 8:44 am

Magazine publishing may be worth $40 billion in the US, according to First Research – but the industry’s existing business model and changes in media consumption habits over the last few years present an immense challenge that threatens the sector’s very existence.
Newsweek became the latest publisher to close the doors on its print edition back in November, highlighting not only the deficiency of print compared with the efficiency of digital, but also placing a clear signpost that magazine publishers have reached an intersection without a map.
What Newsweek’s owners have no doubt realized is that news reporting – in general a commodity product – can now only be distinguished by the quality of its analysis and the speed of delivery. Newsweek may have had the content, but it was still missing the critical element of timeliness.
Digital competitors can provide analysis nearly as instantaneously as the breaking news itself. A once-a-week publishing schedule -- coupled with substantial physical printing and distribution costs -- cannot keep up with continuous and low-cost digital distribution.
Early in 2013 Newsweek will launch a digital-only edition, using tablet-based e-readers, and presumably largely emulating the design experience of print. But is this the right model? The decisions they make... Read more