You may have noticed this year has been slower for new launches
than 2005. Currently, I have tracked 182 new titles, whereas
last year by March there were 247. It’s a marked decrease,
but not just by chance. In fact, I have three reasons for
the sluggish start.
1.) The magazine industry
is seeing fewer innovations in its content.
Where there used to be “Me, too” and “Me, three” copycats,
we are now seeing “Me,13” and “Me, 14” titles.
2.) Major companies are controlling
the checkout counters.
The fight for the checkout counter has become fiercer than
ever, and only the ones with deep, deep pockets can survive.
New magazines don’t have much of a chance for exposure beyond
the mainline...which by itself contains more titles you can't
see than those you can. That's one reason all the doom and gloom news we've been hearing this week about the death of too many magazines is to me nothing but a market correction - something that has
happened many times before in the 60s, 70s, and early 90s.
More companies are focusing on “360” or “print plus” strategies for their established magazines.
In other words, companies are spending more money on expanding their websites and creating additional content for their already established titles.
Anytime we focus on our established “brands,” the new ones have to wait.
So, does this mean that the light at the end of the tunnel is actually a train, whose arrival industry critics have been predicting for years? Heck no. Have faith, the new launches will rebound. I have seen this happen way too many times and for different reasons in my 25-year career.