Are Business Magazines going out of style?

The best estimates suggest that we humans generate at least 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day (that’s 2.5, followed by 18 zeros). Twenty years ago, that was the total sum of data collected in the entire history of human civili zation. With such incomprehensibly colossal amounts of information we produce on a regular basis, needless to say, the importance of curation of data is an unfathomable priority. 

This is an evolutionary need that often goes unnoticed. Yet, the need for curated, comprehensive niche data is crucial for the smooth development of any field. Without it, we’d be looking for a tiny needle in a humungous haystack. 

When we frame the haystack as the 2.5 quintillion bytes of data produced daily and in that we desire the latest news, updates, and stories from the business world, then the magnet is analogous to the business magazines that distill the detailed analysis of different enterprise sectors and business verticals.  

For entrepreneurs, businesspersons, students, industry, and inquisitive creatures, the best way to stay up to date with all that goes on in the business sphere is by way of a renowned Global business magazine of their preference. 

To Read or Not to Read

The main reason for reading a business magazine is to keep up with the most recent business events as well as a variety of other industry advancements. These kinds of business periodicals have become highly popular in recent years.

As a result, every industry strives to keep current with what’s going on in their own sectors of business. It is a truth that every company tries its hardest to stay on top of the newest news, developments, and happenings in their respective fields of expertise.

Reading a business magazine has a lot of benefits. Reading a business magazine allows one to get a detailed analysis of trends and cycles various businesses follow; it also allows access to experts’ opinions and tips regarding some intricate issues of a particular type of profession. 

Expert consultations are rarely free of cost. However, corporate magazines are filled with advice from experts on important matters pertaining to the title of the particular magazine edition. Opting for a subscription saves you the cost, in money and in time, to research or seek out experienced opinions of industry experts and influential personalities through your favorite business magazines. 

Newspapers often detail the conditions of different sectors of the economy, but such reports are generally mainstream, and rarely do they dive into the niche or super-niche categories. Business magazines, on the other hand, dive into the thick and thin of different professions and niche markets or businesses. Opting for a business magazine makes it easier to focus on your profession and the work that you do, helping you gain the insights and advice relevant only to your field and thus helping you to improve your business. 

Reading a business magazine on a regular basis keeps you up to date on market conditions and allows you to undertake commercial activities in a guarded manner. You also get a glimpse into the lives of some of the incredible personalities of this world and get to learn the secrets of how they made it big. 

Technology is taking over. But not all technology is equally useful, or rather, optimally applicable. But by way of free-market economies, worthy technologies get implemented and find a large consumer base or clientele. A better way of framing the same: By the business, good ideas get promoted, and bad ideas (for the time at least) get rejected. An individual keeping up to date with the current trends and dynamics of the business world has a firmer grasp on how this world is evolving. The easiest way for the individual to accomplish that – subscribing to a top business magazine

All this and we are still just scratching at the surface of what kind of perks reading a business magazine can bring to one. 

The Impatient Times 

Today we live in a world where people want everything instantly: they want news ASAP, and anything that takes longer than five minutes doesn’t interest them anymore. The internet has opened up endless possibilities, and people are more aware than ever of the world around them. With this, print media is slowly becoming obsolete. Millennials would rather go online on their smartphones to read the news or watch something interesting instead of picking up a newspaper on their doorstep every morning.

Many magazines have adapted to new digital media by introducing Twitter hashtags into their articles; they also offer readers to subscribe via email for updates on published content. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that print media has remained somewhat static when it comes to advertisements. A recent study conducted by BuzzFeed showed that Millennials are turned off by intrusive ads which distract from the favorable user experience – this means it’s likely that print advertising will not benefit big businesses as much as it once did.

Print media is still the most effective way to reach many readers, and many organizations have abandoned digital ads in favor of print. In fact, publications such as Forbes and BusinessWeek get full pages from high-profile advertisers for millions of dollars.

However, it remains unclear how long businesses will be able to survive with this strategy. With Millennials getting older and becoming the dominant force in the world economy – print media becomes obsolete while online becomes the only source of information for many people.

The Uphill Battle

Magazine publishers around the world are struggling to make money. Advertisers are moving their marketing budgets away from print to digital platforms, which are generally cheaper and reach more people. Magazines have also faced another challenge: readership is falling as people sample content on social media without needing to pay for it. This has particularly hit upmarket titles with affluent audiences, such as Conde Nast’s Vanity Fair in the US or Time Inc’s The New Yorker in Britain. 

People soon began looking at ways of striking back at this digital threat. They tried producing apps that gave users access to magazines on iPhones and iPads, but these failed to attract many subscribers because they were not sufficiently different from the printed.

Transformation was necessary, but it is proving painful. Like many publishers, Time Inc has tried to diversify its revenue stream by creating spin-off businesses that produce advice on wellness and food. However, these divisions have not generated significant profits. Time Inc’s decision to sell itself to another media company, Meredith Corporation, in a $1bn deal announced last month came after years of poor results. So made Hearst’s sale of most of its magazines (other than titles aimed at women) for $200m in cash earlier this year to the private equity firm Oakley Capital after failing to find buyers outside the industry.

The problem with print business magazines is how different they are from their digital rivals; whether due to audience needs or because of editorial choices they’ve made, they’ve languished. They focused on the “long tail” of specific niches rather than finding ways to aggregate millions of people around common interests or passions, like BuzzFeed, did with its lists.

But perhaps the biggest threat to print media isn’t a decline in readership but rather a lack of interesting content. Publications that have been around for years still cover the same topics over and over again, while new publications rise every day with thousands of articles about lifestyle, entertainment, etc. The world has evolved, and so did people’s interests; it will be interesting to see how print magazines evolve accordingly.

What does the Future Demand of the Magazine Industry?

Business magazines also love to tell stories about individuals and companies that are successful in a particular field—hence the success of Fast Company’s annual ranking of the world’s most innovative companies. But this storytelling hasn’t been packaged in a way that can be shared virally online beyond a tight circle of acquaintances—the key feature of many digital news outlets today. 

The Economist has managed to do this by opening up its website for comments from readers and creating a network of bloggers who write up their own perspectives, which feed into the magazine itself. And Quartz has successfully aggregated and reported the news in a style that is highly readable and mixed with original reporting. But these examples remain exceptions rather than the rule.

For business magazine publishers, this means they need to change their DNA, which won’t be easy. It involves understanding what readers want from digital outlets, how far they are prepared to pay for it, and whether they will still be loyal enough to buy magazines on paper if more of these opportunities become available online.

In order to stand out from other publications on social media—B2B titles have a very large presence on LinkedIn—they need to offer a distinctive voice. That doesn’t mean simply recreating some long-forgotten journalistic form but finding ways of mixing business news about individual companies with lifestyle features about the people who work in them. In other words, business magazines need to become a little bit more like their glossy consumer counterparts.