Join Date: Dec 2008
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My perspective is from the point of an avid information consumer. I'm "young" by sailing standards, 35, and have grown up with technology. Here's my take on physical media and why we don't like it enough to pay for it any more.
Firstly, ease of access to information through other channels. When a new motorcycle, car, camera or sail boat etc. is released, we are able to instantly find specifications, previews, reviews and photos instantly online. You no longer have to wait for the latest magazine to show up in the post so you can oggle the eye-candy. Manufacturers make this information available and sell sell sell online because it's fast, cheap and effective - all of which result in higher profits.
Secondly, news has already happened in the past. With cell phones with video/cameras and social media, news events are reported the minute they happen. Most noteworthy events are quickly communicated many times over through multiple sources online. Again, why would we wait for a month or two to read about stuff that happened "far" in the past? We've likely already covered off the topic and moved on.
Thirdly, the quality of journalism has fallen drastically because of economic pressures. Take your pick; Writers are paid less, advertisers push agenda's, political pressure picks a view point. The result is that when you read a magazine, you often get poor quality writing that has an ulterior motive (Have you read a US motorcycle magazine? This month Suzuki is the best, next month Honda is the best, next month...) Uninfluenced review articles are a thing of the past. For news articles, many just pick up stories and reprint or reword them or spend little time researching the articles to even get their facts straight.
Finally, sensationalism stops me from buying magazines and newspapers. The depth of articles that I see routinely is about as deep as the headline. Splash the eye-catching phrase; They are expending effort to develop a controversial headline that may not even relate to the full story underneath rather than spending time delving into the subject matter.
It's thin on content which is out of date, full of advertising and costs more than other channels. So... Why buy a magazine? The model of physical media doesn't work here any longer.
The real question becomes, how do you monetise knowledge and experience? Clearly there is still a thirst for knowledge - you had youngin's spend a rainy evening listening to you - but how will you convince people to part with their money to quench that thirst?