The Great Magazine Die-Off of 2008-09: has it ground to a halt, leaving the industry poised to spring forward into a new decade? Maybe. How lucky do you feel, magazine people?
Folio reports on new MediaFinder numbers showing that only 22 magazines folded in the first quarter of 2010—more than three-quarters less than the 95 that folded in the first quarter of last year. And the number of print titles going online-only fell by more than half. The carnage, it appears, is slowing.
Our own thoroughly unscientific survey of our archives supports this conclusion! Our own Great Magazine Die-Off coverage petered out last December with the closure of National Geographic Adventure. Our last In Memoriam montage of dead magazines, last October, showed 42 dead titles—a fraction of the real total, but a decent indicator of the magnitude of the crisis among even the types of magazines that are familiar to most consumers.
The flipside of the stabilization of the magazine death rate: the number of new magazine launches last quarter also plunged by more than three quarters. So fewer magazines are dying, but fewer are being born, too. We have now entered the Great Magazine Freeze.