Newsweek is attempting to reinvent itself and its business model in an effort to charge more for its services and increase its reader generated income. NY Times article here. This is a good plan. At least it is as good as a plan can be in these times. Through the redesign, Newsweek will work to emphasize photography, also a good strategy. Playing to the strengths of the medium.
In the end, magazines are going to have to provide a product that is compelling enough to the reader that they will pay fair value for it. And that value has to be enough to cover its production. This is a step in that direction, and I applaud Newsweek for going for it. What we can hope to see is stronger, more targeted titles with higher subscription and newsstand prices. How high? I dunno. The market frequently pays $15-20 for 80 page over-sized matte finished high end photo magazines. Imagine if they were produced by an organization as strong as Newsweek.
In other news, Time Inc reports 20% drop in advertising revenue. Ouch. How many magazines can survive that, and for how long? Time Inc is the one stop shopping source for magazine advertising. If they are hurting that bad, how bad must it be getting for competitors? AdAge article here.