The End of Digital Magazines?

Digiday reports that Yahoo’s foray into the digital magazine arena has failed to produce the expected results and that the end is near. Specialist, rich content from big name journalists is failing to attract the audience of today, similar to native advertising failing to capture the hearts and minds of readers.

One could say this is due to branding, design or a lack of specific metrics that measure audience engagement and intent. In reality, the audience of today is turning away from a world of curated content.

We live in a generation where people have never bought a newspaper, and never will. Print is rolling down the hill of extinction with scheduled TV following closely behind. Digital magazines are no different.

It isn't that the millennials and centennials have zero interest in news, more that they have no interest whatsoever in anything at all that is printed.

The digital age of always-on global connectivity brings a new paradigm.

The audience of today wants to choose what they consume from whom via a digital channel and time of their choosing. Sure, there remains loyalty to particular sources but the programmed experience is far less popular than it used to be, for all types of media.

The challenge of how to monetise your audience has never been greater.

In the halcyon days of print and broadcast, the media juggernauts controlled what content we read and how that was distributed to us. Today the end result is the same but the delivery method is online. There is still a growing market for reading all about to get laid, get paid and lose weight sensationalism, even better if it involves a no-name celebrity with the brain of an amoeba.

There always be enough gullible souls to read the brain-freezing content relating to someone who looks all grown up, has toned abs/bum/bust, or simply has a far better life than you. Wrap advertising around that and Robert is your mother's brother.

Originally published in 2014 and edited in 2020.

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