Saturday, November 6, 2010

E-Wars: The Digital Revolution Rolls On

US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT will discontinue its print edition for subscribers as of December 2010. Apparently the print version will still be available in news stands. The announcement is another indication that everything print is going digital, that is 'e.' Print is losing ground for so many reasons they are difficult to list, but here are a few: loss of advertisers, increased cost of print and distribution, shrinking subscriber base, preference for more dynamic eEditions. How long the whole concept of a general news magazine, or newspaper, even 'e' versions, will last is anyone's guess, but my gut tells me not very long in historical terms.

Print editions of everything are suffering for all of the above reasons, and because people are discovering how nice eReaders are. How many times have you heard someone say recently: "I love books, the feel of the paper and turning the page, then I got a (kindle, nook, kobo, fill in your favorite) as a gift and I love it!" Even die hard book fanatics are embracing the eReaders.

So now you can get USN&WR for your iPad, but unfortunately it will not be available in doctor's waiting rooms. There, and in similar venues, you will only be able to access six to twelve month old issues.

Tradition wins out.


  1. It's amazing how quicking the new eReaders are taking off. As they get more affordable more people are trying them out and loving them. It'll be interesting to see what happens to print books in 5, 10 years.

  2. The changes are coming so fast. What once looked like evolution is more like revolution. One has only to look around to see lots of older folks poring over e-readers (a group one might think would be most resistant) And magazines---the other day in B&N, I hardly recognized Rolling Stone. Newsweek the same. Neither may be long for this world. Has there ever been a time when change occurred this rapidly?

  3. Thanks for the comments, Kathy and Melba.

    At GLVWG's Writers Cafe in Borders about six months ago I opined that we are at the knee of the curve and when the change comes it will happen rapidly. Now I think we are in the knee and we haven't seen anything yet. I think the trend will accelerate and in a year or eighteen months the publishing landscape will look very different.