Thursday, August 27, 2009

If Print Is Dead, Why Did MLB Launch a Magazine?

I received an e-mail from Major League Baseball with an offer (pictured) for their new publication, MLB Insiders Club Magazine.

Though I'm a White Sox fan, I don't plan to subscribe (far too many magazines already clogging up my mailbox). But I find it interesting that MLB, which specializes in delivering a live, in-person experience or in delivering a streaming or archived video and audio experience (TV, online streaming, etc.), is putting out a print product.

I think it's great. It might be an example of print not being dead, or it might be an example of the print sports world being so moribund that MLB has to create its own print media properties to promote itself. Or, of course, it might be a mixture of the two: MLB has to pay for the production of the magazine, but it gets all of the revenue from it, so it shows that print is still an effective revenue medium and it helps the organization get its message out without relying on Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, and ESPN.

(See also my July 2002 Internet World cover story interview with Bob Bowman, who headed up MLB Advanced Media. Bowman's work was on the flip side of this equation: Building MLB's ahead-of-the-curve online strategy for disseminating content.)

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