FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Teen Mags, Dow Jones Lead the Migration from Print to Digital

Teens and business executives: two groups that don't have much in common. Except that both are tech-savvy, and are driving the move of the publications they read from print to the Internet.

Time Inc. announced yesterday that it will cease publication of its magazine Teen People... making it the second major teen magazine to shut down after ElleGirl folded earlier this year. However, in both cases the online versions remain, suggesting that the magazines' readership is still engaged, but just prefers to get content online rather than in print. Plus, the online versions are free...

Also, last week, Dow Jones announced that it will "reassess its news delivery" to provide more content online and less in traditional print formats. Perhaps the end result will be to convert its venerable Wall Street Journal to a wholly online format.

The Journal is an interesting case because it's one of the few publications whose online edition has been successful at attracting paid subscribers (768,000). The Internet offers Journal readers particular advantages, such as delivery of breaking news that's essential for traders who rely on up-to-the-minute information. If an all-online move were to occur, it would be precedent-setting to say the least, and could indicate the final step in legitimizing online publications.

By then, its younger readers -- who grew up reading Teen People online -- might go to the online Journal first, and consider the print version an oddity.

More specifics about Dow Jones' future will likely emerge as current Journal managing editor Paul Steiger nears his announced retirement at the end of 2007.

Sources: Huffington Post, Advertising Age