Print is Dead!

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Subscribe to Elliot's BlogWith an invitation that read, “Print is Dead,” Radar Magazine celebrated Halloween and their final issue this weekend. Elsewhere on the print-front, Men’s Vogue magazine is being folded into Women’s Vogue magazine, according to a report in Bloomberg.   Additionally Portfolio magazine will be producing 10 issues instead of 12, which was also reported in Bloomberg. Portfolio, which operates online at Portfolio.com is an upscale lifestyle publication. It certainly was a smart move to acquire that fantastic domain name.
It’s a tough time to be a print publication these days. Printing costs are up, delivery costs are up over the last year, rent and real estate taxes at production facilities are up, and readership and advertising is mostly down. Many advertisers are being required to show a “real” ROI for their advertising dollars, and advertising online allows them to do this.
While a good domain name isn’t essential to being online, not having your keyword domain name can mean the loss of thousands of readers. Just from personal experience, ElliottsBlog.com, which I also own and redirect to my blog, receives a fair amount of traffic, too. This traffic would be lost if I didn’t own this alternative domain name. In the case of Portfolio, it would presumable lose traffic if the site was located on PortfolioMagazine.com, as people assume they would find it at Portfolio.com.
At this moment, there are many companies who don’t own their ideal domain name, and I bet some of them don’t even realize the amount of leaked traffic. While it might just be a few thousand unique visitors, it’s still a considerable amount since advertisers are paying based on readership. Circulation numbers (circs) have been critical to newspapers and magazines forever, so you’d think they would do a cost/benefit analysis of acquiring the generic domain name that consumers might expect to find their favorite mags.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Good points and good story. I think the iPhone has or will have something to do with the decline in print.
    I wonder how many people under 30 subscribe to ANYTHING in print.
    The 2000s will be the decade of death for print. I can’t imagine much will be in print in 2010.
    This economic crisis is the last nail in the coffin and there is nothing to stop the decline in subscribers or advertisers.

  2. A minor correction…. Portfolio is a business magazine like Forbes not a lifestyle publication. It is new, about a year old. I get the print version and think it is one of the best in depth business magazines. The most recent edition has a very good interview with Marc Andreesen…he says…print is dead.

  3. The good news for domainers and/or journalists who anticipated the move from print to the digital news space is that a generic news term work wells as an online draw for news-hungry consumers.
    For example, within news rooms a newsbeat defines a news source that a reporter is assigned to cover. However, the word newsbeat also has penetrated public awareness as a source for news. Youth in the UK are drawn to the BBC news radio’s flagship Newsbeat program or the Beeb’s Newsbeat.co.uk website – making a domain name like Newsbeat.com all the more desirable as a pop culture brand name and marketing tool.
    Another example is the term newsroom, which is the focal point for journalists to produce news content for a print publication or news division of a broadcasting entity. American and Canadian newsrooms have been featured in hit TV series like Lou Grant, Murphy Brown and the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) comedy The Newsroom, making a domain name like Newsroom.com all the more valuable.
    Coincidentally or not, in both examples the generic dot coms are owned by two completely unrelated individuals working in Toronto news media. How to account for this? Must be something in drinks served at the watering hole for local journalists, The Toronto Press Club.
    For American readers thirsty for news in the Long Island, New York area, I refer you to a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper, online at their ideal domain name, Newsday.com

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