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Steve Chiotakis: So tomorrow’s the National Day of Engorging, and I suspect there’ve been a few references to food magazines over the last few days. Readers looking for ideas about the family feast. Seems there’s been a lot of pain in the magazine industry of late. But a consortium of publishers want to get more readers to their content online. Marketplace’s Jennifer Collins now with how they’re gonna do it.
Jennifer Collins: It’s being called iTunes for magazines. Sorry folks — no one’s going to read your favorite titles to you. Instead, there are reports a group of publishers is creating an online newsstand to give readers a easy way to get electronic versions of the glossies.
The publishers include the biggest names in the industry: Conde Nast, Time, Hearst. They want to make magazines readable on various platforms; smart phones on e-readers. But many of the publications have been free online for some time. Will people pay?
George Brock teaches Journalism at City University London:
George Brock: Well, if the magazines aren’t available any longer for free then some people will pay. The issue is how many people are gonna pay and perhaps even more importantly how much they’re going to pay.
But he says publishers have to find a way to make money from their online content. After all, their print circulations are sagging. Both Conde Nast and Time announced layoffs earlier this year.
I’m Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.