The magazine industry is undergoing a seismic shift. It's about time. Publishers have enjoyed embarrassing riches for far too long and we have grown lazy and fat.
We need to become hungry again.
When the magazine pioneers discovered the desire for their publications they went to extraordinary lengths to meet it. They created a system that allowed anyone, anywhere in the country to get hold of a copy of their magazine or newspaper - on the same day, in the same hour. They employed legions of delivery men, armies of paper boys and they created a whole new business: the newsagent.
That same system has existed, unchanged, for over 100 years.
Meanwhile the magazine and retail markets have changed beyond recognition. Supermarkets and multiples now play the tune - they decide on which magazines they stock (the big, vanilla ones) how much they charge for the privilege of being stocked (a lot) and when they pay the publisher (not anytime soon). We, as publishers, work on sale or return but we never get any returns.
What was once a miracle of logistics is now a barrier to innovation.
Sometimes the tip of the iceberg isn't the tip at all, its the gateway to a whole new business.