Considering the recent decline of print media in general, many magazine publishers have attempted to adapt to digital disruption and ensure that they offer online content to supplement their print offerings. ESPN The Magazine has been particularly successful at this, possibly due to the company’s presence across other platforms such as television and the internet. As of 2019, ESPN The Magazine had an audience of over 105 million people, making it the most popular magazine brand in the U.S. by a significant margin. Despite the obvious challenges that lie ahead for the industry, a healthy amount of new magazine publications are launched each year, many of which focus on ”special interest” topics. Although many of the big names have fallen into decline, there appears to be a clear market for publications covering niche topics and interests. Combining this information with the fact that magazine readers have actually increased in recent years shows that it is not all doom and gloom for the industry.
Once the saving grace of the industry, never failing to generate revenue, advertising spending has also experienced significant decline. Advertising space revenue for example, which had been a mainstay of newspaper and magazine advertising for decades, brought in around 13.4 billion dollars in 2017, a substantial drop from the 16 billion U.S. dollars generated only four years prior in 2013. As advertising funds appear to be drying up, it is up to publishers to find new ways to monetize their offerings. Despite the fact that revenues are decreasing, magazine ads still remain highly effective at getting readers' attention; in fact, over 50 percent of consumers take note of advertisements regardless of their position within the magazine.
The printed book segment serves as the one relative constant in the industry. Even given the spread of e-book and audiobook options, the physical format of printed books seems to be something that readers see as a benefit rather than an inconvenience. Clearly challenges lie ahead for the print media industry but it is clear that readers are not prepared to replace all of their physical publications with computer screens just yet.