Home The Slow Death of Print: RIP PC Magazine

The Slow Death of Print: RIP PC Magazine

PC Magazine, Ziff Davis‘ flagship print publication, has announced that it will go 100% digital. The January 2009 issue will mark the end of PC Magazine’s print edition after 27 years of continuous publication. Instead of the print version, PC Magazine will start publishing a digital version of the magazine, ‘PC Magazine Digital Edition.’ Current and new subscribers should see this digital edition appear in their inboxes by February 2009.

100% Digital

PC Magazine has been publishing a digital edition since 2002, but at least in its current version, this digital edition only imitates the print version in its layout, which is definitely not the easiest and most convenient way to read text. Also, the problem for print magazines is not the fact that they are physical objects, but simply the fact that a publication which only appears once a month will always lag behind its online competition, especially in a fast moving business like technology news.

A number of publishers have been experimenting with digital editions similar to PC Magazine’s. The New York Times, for example, has its Times Reader application, which allows offline access to the paper. However, in a world where online access is becoming ubiquitous, these products are at best bridges to a pure online experience.

PC Magazine, of course, already has a strong online presence and a number of very interesting blogs and online video shows. The value of PC Magazine often wasn’t in its news content anyway, but in its reviews – all of which are available online, without the need to subscribe to a digital edition of the magazine.

Would You Subscribe to a Digital Edition?

While we are glad to see that a quality publication like PC Magazine is taking steps to secure its future, it is not clear to us why PC Magazine would put time and effort into producing a digital edition of its magazine instead of just focusing on the online experience.

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