Goodbye Glossies. Hello “Glassies.”
As has been well reported, traditional print magazines have been on life support for yearsnow. The plug has even been pulled on a host of once-popular titles such as Cookie, CosmoGirl, and O at Home. Nearly 400 magazines closed shop in the first half of ’09 alone. Stillothers, such as PC Week, have migrated to a web-only format. And even for those printmagazines still kicking, many do so with anemic heartbeats. Pick up virtually any once-hefty,ad-filled glossy, and you’ll find yourself holding a weight-reduced versionof its former self.But the industry is now all abuzz over a bright light seeming to growbrighter by the day. It’s not the shine of cherubs and angels on the otherside of publishing life, but rather a glow nearly as miraculous and certainlyfar more practical: the Apple iPad. It’s on this device where the glossiesof old shine brighter than ever with pages backlit under touch screens,creating a new nickname for the old medium: “glassies.” Thanks to the iPad, and the other tablets on their way,such as the Dell Slate and the HP Streak, the digitalmagazine’s future is, indeed, bright. So are thingsreally looking up for the magazine industry? Well, notentirely. That’s because the smartest, most creative,most popular digital magazines aren’t likely to bethose from old school players, but new and yet-to–be-concepted magazines created by entrepreneurs as wellas marketers for the brands they serve, just as televisioncontent is increasingly being produced independentof the long-term industry players and being served updirectly to consumers via YouTube, Hulu, et al.