Currently, it is the most trusted media platform available. 58% of its users find the ads particularly enjoyable when related to content, and 57% of people who receive it digitally read the new issue the day they receive it. This doesn't sound like a media outlet that's dying, so why is everyone dressed in black?
Anyone who tells you that the magazine industry is going down the tubes needs to put down their iPad (27% of people engage in other non-related activities while online), pause the audio on their Pandora station (26% of people engage in other non-related activities while listening to the radio), turn their TV off (three quarters of American consumers are multi-tasking while watching television) and read a book! Or better, read a magazine.
The same way that my brother likes to bungee jump or hang-glide and I get dizzy looking out of our 8th Floor office window, two things can be related but not necessarily the same. There seems to be some confusion around the fact that just because the newspaper industry has taken a big hit in the past few years that the same is also true for magazines. The newspaper industry is not declining because it's printed on paper, but instead because news has now become an industry of instantaneous information. The newspaper you get today truly is yesterday's news. Magazines are a different story.
Magazines are not made for instant, up-to-the-moment information, if anything; they are valued by their readers because they are the exact opposite. In a world where most news is broken not by CNN or the New York Times but instead by a 140 character limit Twitter feed, it's nice to have a media source that can actually explain something to you rather than announce it. Online news sites now make an effort to shrink the size and length of their editorial in order to keep readers on the site and interested. I personally almost get excited when I scroll to the bottom of an article on NYTimes.com and see that I have 8 pages to go, just to know I am reading an actual story not just a flashy headline targeted at ADHD people.
Enter stage right: magazines. There is something very personal about sitting down with one of your favorite magazines. It's there, in your hands, you can bend it, fold it, put it down, pick it up, hell you can even read it! And jump around to whatever articles you want!
Whether it's the comfort of knowing you are entering a world full of great editorial and images that made you a subscriber year after year, or the anticipation of the random interesting articles that you would never know of otherwise (sending dogs to the moon? AWESOME!), magazines still provide a very significant media outlet for humankind to turn to. (Fear not coffee tables!)
As long as life has stories, magazines will continue to thrive. Digital and print truly CAN co-exist (nearly 50% of magazine readers go online to find more information about the advertising in their printed magazine; 91% of e-reader owners are magazine readers); there will always be enough content out there to go around. It's true, publications definitely need to recognize and adapt to the new shift in how a majority of people choose to consume media, but they are well on their way (51% of consumers between 18-34 are reading magazines electronically), so don't turn the page (close the book? Your choice) on this industry just yet.