Why do so many magazines fail?
That’s not just me asking the question. That’s an oft-quoted query in the magazine publishing world. And yet, examples abound of start-ups in the old media. Catchy titles and glossy graphics can be all that’s needed for success in today’s multimedia environment.
The latest example to run across my eyeballs is Ideas and Discoveries magazine.
I bought this on a whim from while on recent business trip. As I said, awesome graphics and catchy subject matter. How food cooks. The deteriorating mental condition of historical figures. Brain neuro-parasites. Entertaining and educating enough to keep throughout the whole trip and bring home to the kids.
But one visit to the magazine website, and I knew right away that this dog won’t hunt.
Zero free content to lure readers, just brief article summaries. No Twitter handle, no Stumbleupon, Digg or Google Plus buttons (standard fare on most blogs). No RSS feed subscription button. Just a lame Facebook page. No blog link. A lame Alexa score of over 3 million.
Any Yakezie blogger would give their eyeteeth for a fraction of this magazine’s operating budget, and probably double ad sales within 12 months. Not too hard to do, seeing as how there were only four (!) full page ads out of the 82 pages of the April issue.
If that’s not evidence that I&D editors are still stuck in the 90′s, I don’t know what is. Yep, stick with the printed distribution business plan, and see how that works for you.
Ideas and Discoveries magazine has allegedly been around for a year. I give them another year, if that. By that time, the cash burn will have emptied the operating budget, and they will have joined ranks of dead magazines.
Readers, what do you think? Why do so many magazines fail? Am I right, dead on arrival for I&D? Totally lame prediction? Do PF blogs fail at the same rate? Why does good money get thrown at a bad strategies? Are people incompetent? Why am I asking so many questions?