Oprah is widely known for business skill and the vast amount of investments that she’s made since her start as a talk show host. Oprah’s most “visible” investments is her widely popular “O” magazine which has been in print since 2000. O Magazine was founded by Oprah Winfrey and Hearst Communications in 2000, the magazine is primarily focused on news and stories that interests Oprah Winfrey however it regularly features inclusions from up and coming designers, foodies, health experts, and more.
As the magazine reaches it’s 2nd decade in publication, both Winfrey and Hearst Communications have released statements about the future of the publication.
After the December 2020 issue of “O” magazine is released, the magazine will be completely digital. According to both parties, this is a deliberate move to keep up with an ever-changing landscape that sees consumers leaving behind physical mediums for a more convenient and immersive digital experience.
Why Oprah Decided To End The Print
This past Monday, Hearst Communications released the following statement: “As the brand celebrates twenty years of O, The Oprah Magazine, we’re thinking about what’s next, but again the partnership and the brand are not going away.”
This would confirm a prior report from the Business of Fashion published on July 24th which stated: “This is a natural next step for the brand, which has grown to an online audience of 8 million, extending its voice and vision with video and social content. We will continue to invest in this platform as the brand grows and evolves into one that is more digitally-centric”
While monthly editions of the magazine will no longer be available, there are rumors of a possible quarterly edition being released however the price would be significantly higher than what people pay for the monthly edition.
The move from print to digital is not exclusive to “O” magazine alone as a steady decrease in advertiser spending and consumption of physical magazines has been happening since the internet became a primary means of communication.
O magazine managed to reach astonishing success during it’s early years in circulation amassing an impressive 3 million sales each month. That was in the early 2000’s, at the end of 2019 the magazine’s popularity has decreased slightly to about 2.3 million in circulation each month which is by no means a huge difference, however, it still shows signs of declining industry.
In a statement about the end of the print publication, Oprah said the following “I’m proud of this team and what we have delivered to our readers over the past 20 years, look forward to the next step in our evolution.” We can’t wait to see what the digital version of “O” magazine has to offer as many people are already making sure they have their subscriptions primed to receive the first digital-only edition when it is released.
One thing you can learn from Oprah is that regardless of how long you’ve been in the media industry, there is always room to re-invent yourself.