8020 Media, the company behind the crowdsourced photography magazine JPG is closing its doors.
JPG Magazine, founded in 2005 was hailed as an innovative 2.0 entry into the magazine space, tapping into the wisdom of the crowd and user submitted content to create a glossy magazine.
The first signs of trouble for 8020 came when they shuttered Everywhere Magazine, a travel magazine earlier this year.
In a post to the JPG blog, 8020′s Laura Brunow Miner said that the closure of the business was due to money, or more specifically lack there of in a difficult economic climate where advertising is shrinking, particularly for print publications. Brad Stone at the New York Times has more.
No doubt some will point to this failure as being representative of new models not working; while it’s sad to see a trailblazer like JPG Magazine go, lets look at some hard facts from the magazine:
Content: mostly sourced externally
This “new media” model that crowdsourced photos has 18 staff members for a bi-monthly circulation of 50,000 copies, that’s one staff member for every 2778 copies sold. While there’s no arguing that magazines may need more staff than say a website, JPG was founded by two people, Derek Powazek and Heather Champ. 2 people published the first copy, 18 people published the last.
Economical, small team my arse, particularly given a lot of the tasks could have been outsourced as well (and the photography already was). This isn’t a great example of a lean run 2.0 magazine, no matter what people might think, so please don’t read it this way. If anything, it’s a good example of how bloat can kill a company, something much of heritage media is now grappling with.