February 13, 2008
Another part of the traditional media has begun to embrace the web’s positive side – but Time magazine isn’t ditching their print version by a long shot, rather they are letting the print version and the web version each do what they do best. As Time managing editor Richard Stengel said in a keynote:
“Broadly, Stengel said the magazine needed to regain its status as a vital read, in a way that vaguely echoed the luxe leanings of other high-end publications. “We have to become a more premium product with beautiful paper and photography,” he said. “Each medium needs to do what it does best. A magazine should be something you’re addicted to.”
The Web site, too, had, to Stengel, become static. “We were a traditional magazine Web site. We decided we should be a 24/7 news Web site.”
“Focus groups revealed that readers didn’t necessarily appreciate the callouts in the magazine to go to the Web site to see more information on a particular story, he said. “Why are we doing that? It doesn’t make sense,” said Stengel. “They should be two separate audiences. Someday there will be people who don’t know there’s a print product.”
You can read the rest of the article in Folio magazine here. While I don’t know if I necessarily agree that there will someday be people who are not aware of the print version, I definitely think that print magazines need to up the ante – to get more luxe, to be glossier (images never look quite as lush on a computer screen), and to generally make the reading experience worth the newstand price.