In the era of rapidly developing communication technologies, the perception of the press changes significantly. Modern devices allow instant access to any information here and now. Being highly interactive and cost efficient, online-only magazines become the effective tools for the establishment of new communication environment.
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Online-only magazines are understood as periodical publications, the electronic analogs of the printed magazines available for viewing on computers and mobile devices and distributed over the Internet. Online-only magazines should be distinguished from parallel and integrated online versions of traditional printed magazines, as the latter suggest that there exists an electronic copy of a traditional printed magazine either in unchanged or supplementing format (Stam and Scott 45).
The magazine publishers started to use some electronic tools such as online alerts and emails yet in 1980-s; first online-only magazines were in plain-text format. With the emergence of Adobe PDF technology in 1992, it became easier to place the magazines online and download them. Many magazines later started to develop their online pages and to put there some pieces of content (Silva 3). Initially, the online magazines did not bring the publishers much income, as they were rather a tool to attract more audiences to the printed versions. Gradually with the change of the Internet role and increase in online advertising, it became apparent that online magazines could be used as convenient advertising platforms (Cox and Mowatt 163).
Nowadays the main income of online-only magazines comes from selected advertising and offering the readers extended subscription to premium content (Stam and Scott 53).
According to the Association of Magazine Media annual report, in 2015, print magazines and their digital editions comprise 60% of the overall magazine consumption, while 16% and 22% falls to desktoplaptop web magazines and mobile web magazines respectively (7). It is estimated that till 2019 the revenues from global online consumer magazine advertising will be 37% of the overall consumer magazine advertising and will account for 13.6 billion dollars. The competition will increase as the consumers’ demand for qualitative content will grow further (PwC par. 4).
One of the key advantages of online-only magazines is that they engage creative interactive ways of presentation of the information. The reader can follow the desired links, share the articles via social media, place comments immediately and involve in the discussions with other users. Digital magazines offer the publisher vast broadcasting opportunities, eliminating costs on physical print and distribution of copies. Such magazines require small physical space for storage and can be accessed from multiple locations and devices. Another convenient peculiarity is that it is possible to search the needed information in the magazine very quickly (Silva 4-6).
Online-only magazines are especially suitable for the gadget, fashion and travel industries because here digital possibilities to look at the objects can stimulate buyers’ interest. It is, thus, much easier for the publishers to create niche magazines to attract specific audiences. One of such successful examples can be the Style Bistro online-only entertainment and fashion magazine. Every month it reaches more than 30 million readers giving them an insight into the current trends and an opportunity to buy fashionable items directly from the pages of the magazine (Kearney par. 5).
Overall, it can be seen that online-only magazines give both the publishers and the audience freedom of choice of the content, reduce expenditures on the production and purchase of the final product and offer vast opportunities for interaction. At the same time online only magazines publishing is a very competitive sphere because it is readily available to many participants, who must provide the best consumer-oriented content to survive.
Cox, Howard, and Simon Mowatt. Revolutions from Grub Street: A History of Magazine Publishing in Britain. Oxford, UK: Oxford UP, 2013. Print.
Kearney, Jillean. Top-10 Online-Only Magazines. 2013. Web.
PwC. Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2015-2019. n.d. Web.
Silva, Dora 2012, The Future of Digital Magazine Publishing. Web.
Stam, David, and Andrew Scott. Inside Magazine Publishing. New York, NY: Routledge, 2014. Print.
The Association of Magazine Media 2015, Magazine Media Factbook 2015. Web.