The Renaissance of Magazines (No, Really): The Media Roundup | What’s New in Publishing

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The revival of magazines

Last night we recorded the next episode of Media Voices where we took a deep dive into newsletter trends over the past year with Mark Stenberg. One of the points that emerged was that newsletters – although an old format – have been seen in a new light by publishers and are treated more like newspapers and magazines. Each emits an antidote to the endless scrolling and algorithmic streams of the rest of the internet.

Brian Morrissey points out in his latest newsletter that we are starting to see a resurgence of “magazine approaches” in digital media. Not ink and paper magazines, but a renewed interest in creating and discovering craft media. Some brands are even quite explicit about trying to recreate the weekend magazine experience in a newsletter.

Morrissey ends on a note of hope for physical magazines, however: “It should be remembered that despite all the talk of death, most forms of media remain. Streaming music hasn’t eliminated vinyl. Paper books are still more popular than e-books. It wouldn’t be surprising if physical media became a mental health habit as a way to reduce screen time.

How the Financial Times Got Over 78,000 Survey Responses

With open rates becoming increasingly unreliable, the FT needed a way to better measure the success of its messaging strategy. They found it through surveys. I’d bet the FT has a few million subscribers to its newsletters, which will help, but there are some simple and smart ideas here to encourage newsletter subscribers to respond in the face of tough open rate metrics.

Most Americans who will pay for the news are rich

Ok, this track is a great “well…DUH” moment. But the room itself is actually quite interesting. It breaks down people’s opinions on how news outlets should be funded, and by age group as well. Figure 17 highlights the biggest problem with news subscriptions in particular: if people hit a paywall, 48% of them try to access information elsewhere for free.

Pushers: How Publishers Became Addicted to News Alert Traffic

Push notifications are very effective in driving traffic to websites. So it’s understandable that they’ve started to move from something to alert the public to big news events (like lettuces surviving PM) to something that many publishers now send out daily whether the news is worth or not a “flash” treatment. Notice, every day feels like a big news event here right now.


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