Newsweek is cutting the cord. After 80 years of print publishing the newsmagazine will stop it’s print edition in 2013 and be available exclusively in digital format. I think it’s a great move and I think others will follow their lead in the coming years.
There is no doubt we are moving toward a digital only publishing future. Book were first and now Amazon.com sells more Kindle digital books than they do print books. Many traditional bookstores have fallen by the wayside with only Barnes & Noble surviving, largely because of their successful Nook eReader. Electronic readers can now be had for as little as $69 and the incredible beagle eReader is proposed at just $12. The other major factor driving the digital publishing revolution is the rise of the tablet computer. Led by the iPad and now followed by a swarm of Android tablets. The Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire particularly at 7 inches and just $199 are becoming super popular. So popular, in fact, that Apple will introduce a less expensive 7 inch iPad next week. The tablet is such a natural platform for reading and because they are color and now coming in very high resolutions, they are a great match for magazines. Magazines have been on the iPad from the beginning and the number available is accelerating. Android tablets also have a strong collection of magazines as well.
Of course when you are digital there are other advantages, such as bringing in interactivity and video to the publication. In Newsweeks case, what I most like is that since they now can focus all their attention on the digital edition, they have a change to really make a fantastic publication. In addition, since they dont’ have anymore printing and distribution costs, they could become very price competitive if they wanted to.
For marketers, what does this mean? I think it means, you had better have an interactive developer on staff or work with an agency that does. When you go digital with your ads, you now have the option of enhancing them with animations, effects or even full out video. What if you put a lead generation form right in the ad; something customers could fill out right then and there? What if your ad was a little game people could play? The possibilities are endless. Time to start thinking different.