We don’t accept advertising in Breath. Ruth Jamieson, the author of Print is Dead. Long Live Print, sums up our reasons why.
To truly understand the demise of print, we need to understand who its real customers are. Traditionally, magazines don’t make their money from the cover price — that’s just there to heighten the perceived value of the magazine. Magazines make their real money from selling advertising; to put it another way, they sell brands access to their readership. The magazine is not the product for sale — its readers are. The unspoken agreement between the publishes and the reader is that the readers get cheap content in return for looking at some adverts. Meanwhile, advertisers get access to readers in return for funding the magazine. The upshot of this is that even if a magazine maintains its readership, if advertisers can reach that readership somewhere else, somewhere cheaper, more direct and more measurable — like, say, online — then the magazine is in trouble. Digital attacks traditional magazines on two fronts: it erodes their readership and tempts away their advertisers. This double threat invariably reduces revenue, which lowers budgets, which has an impact on quality, making it ever harder for mags to compete. Round and round this vicious cycle they go, until serious-looking people in suits arrive on the editorial floor and tell everyone to pack up and go home. Really, the only way things could be worse for print magazines would be if the internet were also locking up journalists and closing down paper mills.