I’ve just watched a programme I now watch weekly called "The bottom
line". It’s available in the UK as a video but in the rest of the world
it’s a podcast only but well worth listening
too. It’s very clever in that every week they have 3 business leaders
from different industries but with a balance and mixture which helps complete
the true story that Evan Davis the presenter is trying to convey. This
week they talked about outsourcing and the magazine industry and they
had the Head of O2 UK (Ronan Dunne), the CEO of Future Publishing
(Stevie Spring) and the CEO of First Source an Indian outsource company
I was fascinated by what this mixture of
people would say about the magazine industry and in particular Evan’s
question to Stevie on how she thought the magazine industry would look
in 10 years time.
So the answer from Stevie was surprisingly
honest: she did not know but they would try lots of business models,
but she still thought that physical magazines would exist on the
shelves and said that magazines needed to be "keepable", "portable" and
have "serendipity". The answer from Ronan was he thought there was a
great compliment between online and physical magazines. For me,
Ananda’s answer was even more interesting; he said that in India people were
not using the fixed Internet with only 12M users but there were 450M
users using their phones and that the interest in magazines was
becoming more of a microcosm; more granular.
I loved these
answers because for me they answered it perfectly but did not quite
come to the conclusion I would make. For me it’s obvious what will
happen and they nearly got to it but did not quite get there.
Increasingly over the next 10 years people will be using mobile devices
to read magazines – in the west this will be devices such as Internet tablets
and high end smartphones but in places like India it will be all models
of mobile phone.
Of course in 10 years, in India, the smartphone will
be the low end device for magazine consumption anyway and will almost certainly be a Symbian device as explained by Anssi Vanjoki on All About Symbian latest interview with him. These magazines on tablets and smartphones
will be "keepable", "portable" and have "serendity" because they will
be delivered by tiny apps (hopefully using my own technology);
they will be physically on the phone and they will in many case be
purchased using micro payments systems such as premium SMS or through Appstores such as OviStore. This is not
the online website technique they thought they were talking about and which exists today.
Online websites will continue to exist as complimentary multimedia to
the "keepable" and "portable" magazines which themselves will be
delivered content applications delivered to the mobile device. And the physical paper delivered magazines will always exist but will continue to decline over the coming 10 years.