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5 Million Channels, Still Nothing On

If musical greeting cards aren’t irritating enough, stand by for video print ads. Americhip, based in Los Angeles, Calif., has figured out a way to make a video display unit cheap enough to be used in magazine ads. A tiny screen will play an advertising video, starting up automatically when the page is turned. A built-in speaker will play audio. The first such ad will be included soon in Entertainment Weekly magazine, and the company says the player will survive the magazine binding and mailing process. (RC/Los Angeles Times) ...OK, but will it survive the hammer I’ll be keeping on my night stand from now on?
Author’s Note: Never saw one in real life. Of course, it wasn’t long after this that I stopped subscribing to print magazines. Surprisingly, the number of print magazines published in the U.S. has held relatively steady over the past 15 years, at around 7,200. But the sector is still declining: the estimated gross revenue revenue of U.S.-based periodical publishers has fallen from $46 billion in 2007 to around $28 billion in 2017. As readership declines, so does ad revenue (magazines’ largest source of income), squeezing editorial budgets, making magazines less attractive to readers.
Original Publication Date: 30 August 2009
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 16.

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