The Ever Changing Industry…..
Popular Photography, the largest circulated imaging magazine that launched its first issue in May 1937 in New York City, has ceased publication after being continuously in production for 80 years. The March/April 2017 issue will be the last in print.
When print magazines close, their online counterparts often live on, but in the case of Popular Photography, PopPhoto.com will also simultaneously close (though it may stay online for a while).
“I want to take this opportunity to share this news with the entire company and the reasons behind our decision. In our most recent Town Hall, I spoke of how the pace of disruption through digital and technological advancements is unprecedented. Unfortunately, the photo industry is an example of where this disruption has forever altered the market. The rise of smartphone-camera technology and its increasing ability to capture quality photos and video and instantly share them socially has dealt the photo industry formidable challenges. For our brands, these industry challenges have left us with insurmountable losses in advertising and audience support. Despite the extraordinary efforts of our committed colleagues at Popular Photography and American Photo, as well as our best attempts corporately to find a sustainable path forward, we are simply unable to overcome these market forces.”
During its run, Popular Photography developed a fine system of testing cameras. Former editor John Owens said more than 10 year ago that in excess of a million dollars was spent in setting up a state of the art testing lab. Pop Photo was one of the few places where you could read in-depth camera reviews, they have been doing bench tests for a long time, and produced pretty involved reviews and they were considered fairly authoritative.
At its peak, Popular Photography had a circulation of nearly to 1 million. Today, as per the 2017 Media Kit, that number stands at 320,000. The audience was always male dominated and stands at 60%. The median age is 49.9, so millennials are missing, and that could perhaps be one of the reasons for the demise.
While I no longer picked up a copy of the magazine, it was a staple of my photographic life for many, many years. Sad news and a reminder of how our photo industry is changing, and will surely continue to change.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 7th, 2017 at 11:35 pm
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