There is nothing new about a website launching a print magazine: For some reason, whenever a web-based media company launches a print magazine, reporters feel the need to make it into a trend story, implying that there is something “new” about it. Today it’s Business Week reporting the launch of a print version of a “webzine.” (Gee, and how cute the use of that 1996ish term, webzine.)
So it comes as quite a surprise that eight years later, at a time when the magazine industry is falling over itself to boost its presence online, that BabyCenter has launched a version of its popular Web site on — gasp — paper.
A surprise? Gasp! To whom? As a former associate of mine wrote a couple of years ago, popular websites have been trying to become successful magazine publishers for as long as there have been successful websites.
Here’s a partial list of some web-to-print magazines that launched and later ceased publication: eBay Magazine, Yahoo! Internet Life, Garden.com’s Garden Escape Magazine, Motley Fool Monthly and Buy.com Magazine (which was actually a catalogue in all but name). Even Pets.com had a magazine.
And — gasp — there have also been “success stories” in web-to-print arena, for example TheKnot.com‘s regional magazines.
Update II: Trend story, trend story.
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