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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - October 2019

Launching a new magazine? What even is a magazine?

In the media industry, we have a tendency to focus our time on the news media because this is where all the drama is happening. But the news media industry is only a small part of the overall media industry, and there are many more interesting things to look at outside of it.

So, for this 30-page article, we are going to talk about the trends and patterns that you need to consider if you want to start a magazine today. And let's start by talking about the magazine format itself because it's not what it used to be.

The ones who used to have the greatest success are now the ones who fail the hardest

If you look back at the old magazine market, there is a really fascinating pattern that emerges. The pattern is that the magazines that used to have the largest circulation are now also the magazines with the steepest declines.

What I'm talking about are magazines like these:

What all these magazines have in common is that they were not really defined around any specific focus, but were instead defined to fill a specific pre-internet type of moment.

That moment was the afternoon boredom.

Let me explain.

I want you to think back to before the internet, and look at how people consumed the media. To massively simplify it, we generally had three media periods throughout each day. The morning newspapers, the evening TV viewing, and the period between these two (after work) where we had nothing to do.

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What is Baekdal?

Baekdal is a magazine for media professionals, focusing on media analysis, trends, patterns, strategy, journalistic focus, and newsroom optimization. Since 2010, it has helped publishers in more than 40 countries, including big and small publishers like Condé Nast, Bonnier, Schibsted, NRC, and others, as well as companies like Google and Microsoft.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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