The Effects of the Digital Age on the Magazine Industry

Open Access
Shapiro, Alison G
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • John Philip Sanchez, Thesis Supervisor
  • James Ford Risley, Honors Advisor
  • Magazine
  • Journalism
  • Digital
In today's increasingly digital age, news and information is available at the touch of a button or the click of a mouse. The introduction of the Internet has made daily life easier and more accessible, including how the public receives information. As a result, traditional news organizations have seen dramatic drops in circulation, newsstand revenue and advertising revenue, along with negative shifts in the newsroom, ownership and employment. Existing research shows these effects that the Internet and digitization have on traditional print newspapers, but how does the magazine industry compare? While research does show that magazines have seen declining revenue and circulation just as newspapers have, most major magazines are adjusting to the digital age. Further, online and digital magazines are more interactive, allow for readers to connect better with writers, and the traditional design and layout carries over from the print copy more seamlessly than for newspapers. However, obstacles still face the industry, for instance the growing number of people who are not willing to pay for digital content. This thesis examines how magazines are adjusting to the digital age in recent years, and what further changes are necessary in the future to sustain the viability of the magazine industry. Through interviews with media professionals in the magazine industry, this study reveals that the popularity of print copy of magazines are on the decline, but publications are increasing its efforts to utilize the Internet and digital media to disseminate the news, while trying to keep up with competitors and match revenue from print media to digital.