The Newspaper and Magazine Industry Needs a Makeover

The other day I received an offer from Fortune Magazine for a yearly subscription of $10.  I had trouble believing this since $10 wouldn’t even cover the cost of shipping for a year.

Why such a great offer?

Clearly, they are desperate for subscribers and need more readers in order to maintain or possibly increase their revenues from advertising. As less and less people are willing to pay for magazines and newspapers they suffer. Their last resort is advertising, which is also dwindling in the print world.

Then I thought why can’t they just offer these magazines and newspapers for free? I can think of at least a dozen daily free newspapers that are distributed.

In my opinion, the problem is that they are still stuck with their old business models and can’t move on to a new, innovative one. There are still some loyal customers paying full price but the number is probably shrinking rapidly. Publishers also believe that since their content is high quality it must have a price; if it were free it would lower the quality, which I think is false.

Metro Newspaper

So how do they survive?

They are competing in a new world where free content is both easily available and also of excellent quality.  I personally don’t think that in the long run there is room for paid content, in print or online. On the other hand, free newspapers seem to be thriving.  I see new daily, weekly and monthly free newspapers and magazines coming out all the time. I even wrote a few columns for one called the Westchester Eye, whose revenue is based entirely on advertising.  But not all of them will make it.

The lesson:

It is amazing to see that even in what would appear like a dying industry, there are opportunities for entrepreneurs who are willing to take a new approach and are not bound by old business models. I’m sure that there is a lot of money to be made in this industry, just with a new approach. Whether it be an innovative newspaper or magazine on the iPad, or iPhone,  or finding a new way to generate revenue, it’s all there for any entrepreneur. Have an idea let’s here!


I took the $10 deal from Fortunes and I just got another letter in the mail from Forbes with an unbelievable deal… It’s all too tempting!

Have an idea on how to revolutionize the newspaper and magazine business, let’s hear.