Magasinets e-volution

Mia Korsgaard

Student thesis: Master thesis


E-volution of Magazines: Declining circulation of print magazines is a core issue, with consequences for the Danish magazine industry, which is experiencing change due to technological development. Not only threats are associated with this development, as new growth strategic opportunities arise. One opportunity is digitization of magazines. This master thesis explores how commercial magazine publishers shall act growth strategically in connection with publication of digital magazines for Danish consumers between 18 - 28 years on a market characterized by significant and ongoing change. The thesis adopts an exploratory research design to explore a widely new field. The magazine industry and its environment is analyzed and supplemented by further analysis of both publisher and consumer attitudes, preferences and expectations. Analyses are based on desk and field research including semistructured expert interviews and consumer focus groups. The analyses make up the foundation of a discussion on what promotes and challenges growth potential of digital magazines, before finally identifying and evaluating different growth strategies. In conclusion, the thesis identifies several possible growth strategies, including product development of print magazines into digital magazines. In this view, magazine publishers must avoid the easy solution of replicas of printed versions and instead exploit the wide range of digital tools, which consumers increasingly prefers and expect. Results show that consumers devalue digital magazines, except when they are either free or offered as an all-you-can-read platform similar to other industries’ ‘Spotify’ and ‘Netflix’. To be able to offer this platform, launching of new magazine titles by organic growth may be replaced by acquisitions and alliances where a greater assortment can be achieved in significantly less time. Eliminating intermediaries through forward integration by setting up own sale channels are relatively easy and therefore an obvious and attractive growth strategy, which should be considered by both large and small magazine publishers. The theoretical contribution of the Thesis is an added parameter to the existing ‘Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology Model’. The new ‘Turn Off parameter’ regards consumer’s need to turn off online devices and go offline to relax. As magazines are one of the last media which is not yet widely digitalized, it risks being left behind while print circulation declines and new media become habits of the consumer to a even larger degree than today. In connection to this, the thesis finds it crucial that publishers not only embrace, but shape the development by taking a proactive digital approach and compete with digital substitutes.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages94