Canadian Publishing Industry News
4 March 2010,     TORONTO
Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni talks future of print magazines
Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni spoke to a sell-out industry crowd at the CDS Global annual Strategic Partner Seminar yesterday on the future of print publications, and what companies need to do to survive.
Samir "Mr. Magazine" Husni

Getting consumers to pick up your magazine is all about creating an experience and an addiction, said Husni. “People need to be addicted to the magazine to want to subscribe,” he said. “You sell the first copy of the magazine based on the cover. But you keep selling it for the content.”

Using technology to drive print sales is also key, said Husni. He cited British magazine Monocle which charge a premium for its print magazine and include trailers for the newest issue on the website. The magazine trailer is not foreign to Canadian publications, with magazines such as The Walrus and Fashion both highlighting pieces of their new issues through video online.

He noted that the ever increasing number of publications on the newsstand should be celebrated, but also that each new title slices the market more and more. The answer, said Husni is for consumers to pay the actual price of the magazine— not the low costs many U.S. publications are charging for subscriptions.

Non-print brands that have created successful magazines were also highlighted in Husni’s presentation. Chief among them was the U.S.-based Food Network Magazine. The network teamed with Hearst last fall to launch a consumer publication and expects to have a circulation of 1.1 million in June. Husni credits its success to making a connection with readers that they can’t do without. “You need to give people something where they will stop and interact with ink on paper,” he said.

Samir Husni is the director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi, School of Journalism. He is also Professor and Hederman Lecturer at the School of Journalism and the author of the annual Samir Husni's Guide to New Magazines, which is now in its 24th year. For more information on Husni, visit his site

— Val Maloney
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Jaded says:
Wow, Torstar really seems to be on a mission to bankrupt one magazine after another....
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Lorene Shyba says:
Full of terrific information, Thanks!...
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