Whether print mags are dead or alive depends on your business model

George Carlin once said, “Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be.”

And there you have it. The expectations and the glass that hold the print industry need to be adjusted to a smaller container to fit the current conditions we work in. Based on all relevant data that glass needs to be at least half the size it was ten years ago, as we print, mail and engage in half the advertising we once owned and cherished. I offer this perspective because the only way to keep your sanity is to question the things that we have long taken for granted.

Let’s keep this conversation focused on perspective. The magazine Monocle is constantly held up as an example of current printing success. For the record Monocle currently has a circulation of 81,504 copies and counts 18,300 subscribers.

That is fine and wonderful if the glass that holds the Monocle expectations is a circulation that is under 100,000. Don’t get me wrong, there are thousands of great titles that survive with similar and even much lower circulations. I say “relative” because the major magazines have ten times those numbers.

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