Collective Hub calls it quits

Collective Hub bites the dust… Yet another print publication turns its last page. Founder of the Collective Hub, Lisa Messenger, stated that money did play a part in her decision to terminate the company’s print publication. 

Familiarly, Fairfax in 2017 also experienced troubled waters, disbanding a number of Sydney suburban mastheads - closing 6 titles, from 16 to 10.

Is this the beginning of the end for print publications? Many people to a fro, suggesting that print publications are still alive and kicking, but announcements like these – the closing of a magazine dubbed “the Vanity Fair of business magazines” must be a tough pill to swallow. 

Messenger delivered a heartfelt letter to her 2.4 million subscribers last week, expressing that “in life, nothing stays the same”; “we pivot, we evolve, we grow, we learn. This is truly the magic of entrepreneurship”. A shock too many, we’re sure, the message wasn’t accredited a beautiful picture, rather a raw stripped back and bare open letter – a symbol for the coffin encapsulating Collective Hub’s print publication. 

Whilst attributing a number of reasons for the closure, Messenger did acknowledge that a lack of advertising spends contributed significantly. Humbly accepting full responsibility, Messenger mediated that the popular publication was perhaps creating a product that not enough advertisers, partners or sponsors actually wanted to invest in anymore. But, has it just become progressively too hard for print publications to attract that kind of money anyway?

It seems like a matter of simple economics – demand and supply. The demand for advertising space in print publications is drying up, meanwhile digital media space and paid social media marketing are reaping all the rewards. So much so, digital media now accounts for 52% of ad spend in Australia, forecasted to grow a further 10% in 2018. That’s right, we’re officially past the tipping point. 

It’s a sad sight to see, especially since print media offers value incomparable to digital media. Print publications are stimulating, tangible, credible and eternal – being able to flick through pages and feel the weight of a magazine, it just isn’t the same with your finger on a mouse. 

Nevertheless, without serious changes, print publications are expected to take on more and more water whilst advertisers abandon ship. All the research, insights and predictions suggest digital advertising spend is only going to increase; subsequently, more of our favourite print publications will throw in the towel. 

So, today we celebrate everything Lisa Messenger and the Collective Hub team achieved, but “sometimes, you have to break something you love to remake it. Sometimes, everybody needs to stop and ask themselves – is this my greatest calling going forward? Or, is there a bolder, braver, smarter way to fulfill my purpose?