Traditional Magazines Sing “I Will Survive”

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“Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother, you’re staying alive, staying alive.”- The Bee Gees

When it comes to the future of magazines, we admit at first we were afraid, we were petrified, but just when we thought it was the last dance for big time magazines and traditional journalism, an eleventh hour remix of the genre has been slapped on the turntables. All right, enough with the disco metaphors. But it’s hard not feeling like boogying after witnessing the incredible magazine metamorphosis that has taken place over the last couple of months.

The easy-to-bash but hard-to-love iPad has played a big part in the resurrection of magazines. Magazines from all of the major publishers have all surfaced on the iPad and have proved to be some of the gadget’s most popular applications. Even Conde Nast’s beloved yet defunct Gourmet magazine had a comeback this summer when it returned as a free app for the tablet. Yet the question remained: Would iPad users pay for magazines?

Enter Zinio. Just this week, digital newsstand operator Zinio offered a game-changer when it took on paid content for The Sporting News and National Geographic apps for iPad. This new subscription model works a lot like the traditional version: Readers can get limited content with the apps for free, buy single issues for 99 cents or plunk down $2.99 a month for the whole enchilada, which receives regular updates and is delivered fresh to your iPad. If Zinio’s plan catches on, the iPad and devices like it look to be the future of subscriptions and daily publication.

Yet the iPad isn’t the only beacon of light for magazines. Social media is helping revive the genre as well. Glamour magazine is looking to rope in “young and posh” readers (translation: not old ladies) with a new promotional and advertising makeover that is heavy on the Facebook and Twitter marketing. Announced yesterday, the magazine’s multi-million-dollar campaign is revamping the publication to speak to a younger set, so naturally Glamour has already launched aggressive moves on all the big social media sites. From 3 voices on Twitter to an interactive Facebook page to turning to fashion bloggers to assist in the Glamour re-deux, the publication is hoping to reinvent itself for a new audience.

Also, trying to turn the beat around is Lucky magazine. The shopaholic bible’s unique multi-media duet with Kellogg’s Special K is nothing short of brilliant. Cereal aficionados are encouraged to swipe their smartphones across Microsoft tag 2D bar codes on boxes of Special K that will launch a video starring Lucky’s editor-in-chief Elise Loehnen talking about figure flattering jeans. Lucky has always shameless promoted shopping so this partnership wisely speaks to its core audience in a way old magazines would have never dreamed of.

Now it’s your turn to hop on our soul train. Do you think magazines have another dance left in them? Shout it out in the comments section below!

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