It's no secret that the internet is making it very hard for print magazines and newspapers as more and more turn to the digital medium for their news. The cost to print and distribute print publications is getting more and more expensive at a time when many print publications are seeing subscriber numbers dwindle.
One of the most popular and venerable technology publications, PC Magazine, has announced that as of its January 2009 issue it will no longer be a print magazine. The magazine will continue with the same format readers are used to according to Editor-in-Chief Lance Ulanoff, but will only be available in a digital format.
PC Magazine will be published using the Zino digital system. With Zino, the digital publication will look like the print magazine did with the added benefit of being much more interactive. The Zino reader even lets users turn the pages.
The digital edition of the magazine will eventually offer rich media options like slideshows of product images or videos of reviewers giving tips alongside a review. The magazine will be printable according to Ulanoff. The digital transition will also make the magazine searchable and the table of contents will be live allowing users to click directly to articles they want to read.
Readers who like to peruse print magazines as much for the ads as they do the written content will still be able to view ads, just as they did with print versions. It's not hard to figure out why the transition was made, but Ulanoff spells it out clearly in a post on the PC Magazine website saying, "… the decision to stop producing a hard-bound copy was not an easy one. But the reality is that the ever-growing expense of print and delivery was turning the creation of a physical product into an untenable business proposition."
Current subscribers of the print magazine will be shifted to the digital version after the January issue. Apparently, the magazine will carry on as a subscription publication with the same subscription rate.