Saturday, November 6, 2010

US News Quits Print Subscription Business

Add another magazine to the list. US News and World Report has decided to end its print subscription business to concentrate on web and special print issues. "After December, regular editions of the magazine would only be published online, The New York Times reported Saturday. Editors said an occasional special report might be released on paper." Certainly the cost to print and mail continues to rise; in addition, consumers are dropping their print subscriptions to get their news online. When the economics no longer work, it is time to face the reality and make a change. For US News, this new era starts in January.

Surprisingly, their focus in on free web content and not on a digital subscription model. With the rise of tablets, I'm surprised that they are not considering this strategy. Print will still be offered as one off issues, but only through newsstands, thus saving mailing costs. An interesting move that their editors describe as a growth move, but appears as more like waving the white flag.