This morning Newsweek magazine announced that it will switch to an all-digital format in 2013. The last U.S. print edition will be the December 31 issue.
The all-digital publication will be called Newsweek Global and will be a single worldwide edition. It will focus on mobile readers as it notes in the announcement: “Newsweek’s online and e-reader content has built a rapidly growing audience through the Apple, Kindle, Zinio and Nook stores as well as on The Daily Beast.” (For those not familiar with The Daily Beast website, please see comments below.)
In its comments, the “challenging print advertising environment” was noted, along with statistics like: “The Daily Beast now attracts more than 15 million unique visitors a month, a 70 percent increase in the past year alone”, “tablet users in the United States alone are expected to exceed 70 million, up from 13 million just two years ago”, and that according to the Pew Research Center some 39% of Americans say they get their news online.
In hindsight, this announcement does not seem so surprising. As problems with the print magazine mounted, Newsweek merged with “The Daily Beast” – a website focused on news reporting and opinion. As a strong indication of the importance of the web part of the deal, the merged company is called The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC and all web content is on http://www.thedailybeast.com/. And the announcement referred to the change as a transition, not a goodbye – that they had “reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format.”
The new digital publication will be “supported by” paid subscriptions, with some content available on The Daily Beast.