Signs of recovery in the magazine business


Magazine RackThe good news is that far more magazines are being launched than shut down these days, and even though the number of launches in 2012 declined slightly, the number of closures declined dramatically.

According to, there were 227 beginners in 2012, down 5% from 239 in 2011. The 227 new magazines far eclipsed the 82 that were shuttered, a good sign in and of itself. But the even better news was compared to 2011, the closings represented an impressive 46% decreases, from 152.

According to the report, the largest launch content category was regional interest (24), followed by lifestyle (18), crafts (18) and food (14).

There were 31 new business-to-business categories during the year, against 16 closures. “It is heartening to see far fewer magazine closures in 2012 over 2011, although there are also fewer magazine launches,” said Trish Hagood, president of “The luxury trend continues with the launch of magazines such as Best Life and the increased frequency of Bloomberg Pursuits from semi-annual to quarterly in 2013.”

RBR-TVBR observation: The internet put a serious hit on all kinds of print media, including newspapers, magazines and directories. We believe that to a large extend, simple Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest effects have weeded out many weak titles.

Still, the print media have faced a challenging environment, and many simply had no chance at all, particularly in the directory sector.

If the magazine industry has managed to achieve some stability, perhaps it has some lessons that might benefit the newspaper sector. All we know for sure is that every medium, electronic, print or otherwise, had best embrace new technology, or be consumed by it.