A Tablet Magazine For Your Tablet

By  |  Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 10:37 am

In the old days of personal technology, you knew a topic had arrived when it got its own magazine–be it PC Magazine or Computer Gaming World. Tech magazines–at least ones printed on dead trees here in the U.S.–are very nearly extinct now. But a startup is going to try a 2011 version of the idea: it’s launching a magazine about tablets…that’ll be distributed exclusively in digital form on the iPad. TabTimes’ editorial staff includes a couple of grizzled veterans who are friends of mine, Editor George Jones (formerly of Maximum PC and GamePro) and News Editor David Needle (ex-InternetNews.com and InfoWorld). ¬†The publication debuts this fall, but they’re already tweeting.

 
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  1. Magazine Design Says:

    Yet another story declaring print magazines "very nearly extinct," when in fact print still dominates revenue streams at most publishers. Tablets may be on the rise, but they are far from a proven or widely accepted magazine reading format and have had very limited success to date. And where else do tablets have to go but up? I actually think this particular magazine will do fairly well, being delivered in a format already accepted by its target audience, but the notion that print is defunct is pure nonsense. Magazine publishers have been through a few rough years, but who hasn't? Autos? Airlines? Retail? IMHO, many gadget freaks probably WANT print to be dead, but that doesn't make it so. Print makes up the vast majority of the magazine publishing industry even today, with all of the industry's challenges. And magazines aren't books. So let's put the "Print Is Dead" bandwagon in park for a while, shall we? It's not based on a realistic, objective analysis of the current state of publishing.

  2. Harry McCracken Says:

    Hmmm. I said that U.S. tech magazines are nearly extinct, not magazines period. And they are, compared to earlier eras: you won't find many of them on newsstands except for PCWorld, Macworld, Maximum PC, Maclife, Laptop, and a few gaming titles, all of which are radically thinner than they once were. Ziff-Davis, a company once synonymous with mammothly successful computer magazines, abandoned print altogether. (If you go to a newsstand and do an audit of the titles in tech section, you'll find that a high percentage are imports from the UK, where the market is quite different.)

    In the 1990s, the roster of PC-centric titles alone included PCW, PC Mag, PC Computing, Computer Shopper, Windows, WindowsUser, Windows Sources, PC Sources, Byte, and numerous ones I'm forgetting about at the moment–and 300- or 400-page issues were common.

    I don't think there's any mystery about why tech magazines are a dying breed: the industry movies incredibly rapidly, there's a wealth of great info available online for free, and readers are by definition comfortable with reading stuff off screens.

    But I'm not one of the people predicting the death of print, period. In other categories, I think print will be extant and profitable for years to come. Hey, I write for TIME and have a story on Google+ in the issue that comes out on Friday–buy it!

    –Harry