RIP JPG Magazine, 2005-2009
The economic downturn is starting to hit the small startups that have dotted the photographic landscape through the past few years. This morning I received an email announcing that JPG Magazine will be disbanding as of Monday, Jan 5th. It was also announced on the magazine’s blog, though the Web site still appears as if all is well. Still, come Monday, the site will disappear into the Ethernet.
In its original incarnation, the magazine was available for purchase on a print-on-demand format through Lulu.com. (Early issues are still available in this way.) After an all-too-familiar power struggle between two of the founders, the magazine attempted to access more mainstream distribution channels. I don’t know for sure, but this decision appears to have been fatal as its been unable to cover its costs with newsstand and subscription sales. For those inclined to schadenfreude, justly so.
I do find it astonishing that “a community of 200,000 photographers” couldn’t be organized to fund the magazine in some way. Even following the 80/20 rule of the publishing company’s name, they potentially had 40,000 paying customers. The staffing appears to be structured for a much larger subscriber base, but I’d guess there was something fundimentally wrong with how they went about running their operation. Or running on wishful thinking, like a lot of the economy in the past couple years.