Digital magazine goes for digital delivery

THE world’s leading computer publication, PC Magazine, is about to print its last issue, which will go on sale in January.

Readers are promised a digital version of the magazine – similar to the versions of the PANPA Bulletin that are created by RealView Technologies and linked from our home page. PC Magazine has been offering its own alternative for six years and has now decided it is time to stop the presses.

Initial response on the website to news that there will no longer be a print edition has been largely negative. “This is a joke, right”, said one comment to the announcement by the editor Lance Ulanoff.

Another chimed: “Too bad. I’ve tried taking my laptop into the toilet with me, but it just doesn’t work as well as a printed magazine. Too bad, too, for your advertising sales department. I never pay attention to (much less click on) electronic ads and would not expect the target audience of my clients to do so. My clients’ advertising dollars will go to other print media.”

And another: “I don’t understand. According to NY Times, your subscriber base is currently 600,000. If you make a $1 profit on a subscription, that’s $600,000. You guys are not making a dollar on a subscription? Going 100 percent digital is a huge gamble, reminds me of Dell. I’m afraid you’ll have to reverse course sometime in the future and start the print edition again.”

PANPA CEO Mark Hollands said: “PC Magazine has an impressive array of digital spin-offs, as well as podcasts and vidcasts. It will be interesting to track the popularity of the journalists, and the loyalty of the reader, now that it will no longer feature on news-stands across America: a case study in reader reaction to a print-led business taking on a digital pure-play strategy.”

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