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The Future of Print?

Monday, December 18, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Bo Sacks, on the future of magazines (and newspapers):

The cable TV business combines a multitude of huge and small media aggregators together in a solo purchased package to the consumer. My suggestion is to mirror the package deals of this medium. This will work excellently for both print and online. It uses the power and accountability of the online digital business with flexibility and creativity. And it can offer many creative business models within the plan.

In the new model, we offer our customers a choice at all times. There’s a “basic plan” publishing package offers the local newspaper and two magazines of your choice to be received in either digital format, printed format or both. The next step up offers the local newspaper and four magazines of your choice from a comprehensive list of offerings. We keep offering tiers of participation up until you get to the “platinum plan” that delivers the customer everything ever printed.

The customer is allowed to make changes at any time. “Let’s see, this month, I would like to try Popular Science magazine instead of Discover.” This approach would be good for all publishers. It offers the ability of change and reader experimentation. All you need is faith in your addictive editorial package and the vision to know that change in our current business models is imperative. It is time to use the digital universe to our advantage. The current trend is to embrace it, but the question is how? I think this plan offers hope and a great future for both the printed product and the digital siblings.

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