There has been much debate and conjecture over the future of the newspaper industry in the past few months. I’ve been privy to some heated discussions in the boardrooms of certain newsrooms, and, take it from me, there are some pretty scared people out there. The long and short of it is:
- Newpapers across the globe are in trouble
- Classified advertising, a huge part of newspapers revenue, has been decimated by Craigslist, Gumtree and the like
- Advertising revenue has plummetted by the credit crunch
- Consumers are asking “Why pay when I get my news for free, online?”
One compelling model that’s been put forward is MINE Magazine. It’s a customisable digital offering that combines a host of magazines from the Time Warner stable. You choose the type of content you’d like to read and MINE sends you a link to your personalised online publication. For advertisers, it’s a sweet spot, since the ads can be tailored for the reader, e.g. my first copy (below) has Lexus messages that talk about Cape Town and my love for sports.
Fast Company says this about MINE Magazine:
Time Inc. is bringing it to the printed word with mine, a five-issue, 10-week, experimental magazine that allows readers to select five Time Warner/American Express Co. magazines that Time editors will combine into a personalized magazine with 56 possible combinations. Essentially, mine is a printed, expanded RSS feed. Magazines available to the program include Time, Sports Illustrated, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Money, In Style, Golf, and Travel + Leisure.
I got this in my inbox after signing up:
I clicked on the link and got a user-friendly, Flash Paper style window:
First impression: I love the idea. I think this can be the way forward, and as broadband becomes slicker and faster, and the graphic potential is pushed, this kind of interactive experience is the way forward.
There are some irritations with the current offering – for example, the articles are not as interesting as I’d have liked, the download is slow(ish), and where the heck is Kilington? (see below…)