OPA Intelligence Reports

Posted in News on 01/14/2013 By Mark Glaser

The new digital Newsweek

Newsweek just published its last print edition, and started anew online. Just as the announcement of the impending switch did last year, the final issue inspired a round of both epitaphs and prognostications. The verdict is still out on what it all means—for print, for newsweeklies, for online magazines and for magazines in general. The big question will be just how different Newsweek online will be from the print edition. What strategic changes will the mag make so that its online, subscription-only publication will succeed where its print sister did not? (The price for the online version, by the way, is about what the print subscription cost.)

If the first digital issue shows one thing, it’s that the flashy cover wasn’t just a print thing. As Charlie Warzel notes for AdWeek, “for Newsweek, the lack of physical circulation apparently isn’t going to change the publication’s emphasis on creating compelling and controversial print-worthy covers to drum up publicity and make news.” A Tom Wolfe cover story, photographed by the elite Platon, graces the first digital issue – a marker some see as promising for the content of the new Newsweek and others see as an example that cost-cutting isn’t quite where it should be for a digital publication. On the other hand, it might signal something bigger—a return to investment in content. Zinio’s Jeanniey Mullen put it this way for ClickZ: “I would argue that this is the golden age of publishing. Newsweek bye-bye. Daily Beast, hello. But understand that it is publishing and content. Discovery of that content that will drive this business. The content business. The publishing business.”