Ziff Davis Dumps Print Edition of PC Magazine

Subscribe to Elliot's BlogIn a decision that’s probably overdue considering the topic, Ziff Davis has decided to eliminate the print edition of PC Magazine and has opted for an online version only. According to the article appearing in today’s online edition of the Boston Globe, circulation for the magazine is off 50% from it’s peak in the 1990s. PC Magazine has been in existence for 27 years, and is one of the flagship brands of the Ziff Davis publishing empire.
According to Jason Young, chief executive of Ziff Davis, “The viability for us to continue to publish in print just isn’t there anymore.”
Yeah, I know this isn’t really news, but it continues to show that the publishing leaders are moving the print publications online as they can. Sure, there will always be people who want to read the print edition of US Weekly and People (waiting rooms, rest rooms, and airports), but it costs too much to print, pay print employees, deliver the publications…etc. Even with lowering gas costs (decreasing the delivery overhead), it just makes sense to exclusively be online.
Go where your audience goes!

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Good article.
    Right. Just makes sense to be online. Think about the extension of their content and usability by being online.
    Online content is worldwide and searchable where a magazine just can’t deliver that.
    Older people will cling to print but younger generation is online and probably never buy a newspaper or magazine let alone subscribe to one.
    Just keep posting these death notices of print publications. Every one of them means that more and more people and businesses are coming online.
    I heard today that the Out of Town newsstand in Kendall or Harvard square in Boston is closing. They sold international magazines and newspapers.
    I doubt newspaper companies want to or need to ship their print around the world to get readers anymore.
    We are in a great business and we will all tell our grandchildren who (hopefully) will be running businesses and living off the domains we own today.

  2. I would also guess that quite a few print rags are only staying in print because of the long standing employees that would be impacted. This is a huge industry, and many of these larger companies are fairly loyal – and hanging on as tight as possible. JMO.

  3. Expect to see a lot more publications disappear soon. Print doesn’t provide real time results like online media buys do. With print media buying you’ve got a costly investment that requires you to wait many months to know if your ads will even pull or not. And you have to buy months ahead of the actual publication date so it requires advanced media planning. It’s also very expensive and most all the publishers fudge up the actual distribution numbers so you really never know the actual factors to figure your conversion rate.
    Prices for magazines are ridiculous from the consumer standpoint which is why you can go to any bookstore and see dozens of people just reading the magazines while they sit in the store but not actually buying them. LOL

  4. “Just keep posting these death notices of print publications. Every one of them means that more and more people and businesses are coming online.”
    Yep, but it’s not all upside.
    The downside is some of those coming online or entering
    the US market may try to take your domain.
    See this:
    While that might be true to some extent, nearly all of my valuable domain names are developed right now. Not to say I don’t care about others’ losing their names potentially, I just think it’s risky to park. I’ve made less than .5% of my revenue (probably closer to 1/10th of 1%) on parked domain names, so it would impact me less than many. I still think the decision was poor and I would imagine a lawsuit to overturn this will probably follow.

  5. I haven’t looked at their revenue numbers but I am sure they are still very profitable and the last time I looked their growth numbers as far as reach, etc… Was fantastic… All thanks to the internet. Any and all growth with magazines peaked during what, during the late 90s ??? it has been a steady downward trend ever since all across… They are lucky to have spin off in the right direction and transition to the net just in time.

  6. Discontinuing print in lieu of the move to online is something that many domainers predicted … years ago. This confirms a trend that supports the consolidation of ALL media into a single portal. NFL.com showed the Thursday game (Bengals vs. Steelers) last night on the internet. You could watch the game on your PC or send it out to your flat screen via HDMI. We discontinued our subscription to the local newspaper a year ago. No longer need a phone book. Bills paid instantly online – no snail mail. Shop and order online. It’s endless. “CD” stores have disappeared due to downloadable music, and your local Blockbusters are vanishing on a daily basis as streaming/on demand movies (with no return aggravations) are the new norm.

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