It has been reported that digital circulation has doubled...to 1%. While some may nod their head and say, "duh." I still predict digital circulation among magazines will increase, and not just increase but replace traditional magazines altogether.
A lot of people would disagree with me. And even though I was the only person in my communications class to take such a bold stance, I think over time I will be right.
Some "reasons" I've heard for why traditional magazines are here to stay:
Everyone likes running their fingers through a magazine and touch the pages. You can't replace that.
You can't hear the shuffling of the paper. You can't replace that.
Tablets and cell phones make it hard to see the text, it's so much easier to read it off the paper. You can't replace that.
There is no taste to a tablet like there is a magazine. (Okay that one I made up).
I can respond to all these objections with: Get used to it. We are a generation that keeps moving (read: running) forwards. If we're not running forward we're going backwards. Have you tried running backwards? It's not fun. Who owns an antique dial phone these days? No one has the patience for dialing on those anymore, and if your number has too many 9's - forget it!
The recent announcement of Britannica Encyclopedia ending their print version issues and moving to digital only is only a first step to more books and magazines going this route.
Books, you say?
Actually, the best argument I've read for why books are here to stay is that books hold memories. When you obtain a book, whether through a purchase or as a gift, you can remember exactly what emotions you had with it. You can look at a book sitting on a shelf and remember, "that's the time when _____."
However this, too, shall pass.
Like the eventual decline of music CD's and the eventual decline of DVD's, my memories are not about what happened in my life when I bought an album at the music store, but what significance the actual song had. I think back and can identify which songs represented which summers depending on my own personal experiences.
Same thing is true for movies. In fact, the reason I never bought pirated films as a kid was because I loved having the original case. Although I still am that way (It's the only reason I still don't own all the seasons of 24), I think that this mentality, too, shall pass.
I can see a future where salons and waiting rooms will have digital magazines, even if right now 99% don't think so.