Via David Bram’s blog comes the news that JPG Magazine is closing shop. When I first saw the magazine I wondered how a magazine that basically was Flickr in magazine form could survive - and we now know it can’t. Of course, you could argue that photography in print always looks much better than online, so then doesn’t this all say/mean something? A tempting question, but I think on needs to be careful with what conclusions to draw. I think what this all means is that for JPG Magazine’s target audience the added value of seeing photos printed on paper that they can easily see online
does did not translate into sustainability of the magazine. This conclusion cannot necessarily be applied as a whole to other photography magazines, though - Rob might disagree (he does know these things better than I do after all), but I think the demise of JPG Magazine clearly shows that for a photography magazine to be able to survive it needs to offer something that you can’t easily find online.
PS: My argument works both ways, btw - the reason why blogs are here to stay (remember how a little while ago, the old-school media were badmouthing blogs?) is because they offer something unique (even though it’s not fully clear, yet, what the full range is going to be).
Update (5 Jan 2009): Here’s Rob’s take.