Magazines are publications, usually periodical publications, that are printed or electronically published. (The online versions are called online magazines.) They are generally published on a regular schedule and contain a variety of content. They are generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by prepaid subscriptions, or a combination of the three. At its root, the word "magazine" refers to a collection or storage location. In the case of written publication, it is a collection of written articles. (This explains why magazine publications share the word root with gunpowder magazines, artillery magazines, firearms magazines, and, in various languages although not English, retail stores such as department stores).
Magazines can be distributed through the mail, through sales by newsstands, bookstores, or other vendors, or through free distribution at selected pick-up locations. The subscription business models for distribution fall into three main categories.
In this model, the magazine is sold to readers for a price, either on a per-issue basis or by subscription, where an annual fee or monthly price is paid and issues are sent by post to readers.
This means that there is no cover price and issues are given away, for example in street dispensers, airline in-flight magazines, or included with other products or publications. An example from the UK and Australia is TNT Magazine.
This is the model used by many trade magazines (industry-based periodicals) distributed only to qualifying readers, often for free and determined by some form of survey. This latter model was widely used before the rise of the World Wide Web and is still employed by some titles. For example, in the United Kingdom, a number of computer-industry magazines use this model, including Computer Weekly and Computing, and in finance, Waters Magazine. For the global media industry, an example would be VideoAge International.
In the library technical sense, a "magazine" paginates with each issue starting at page three. Likewise, in the technical sense a "journal" has continuous pagination throughout a volume. Thus Business Week, which starts each issue anew with page one, is a magazine, but the Journal of Business Communication, which starts each volume with the winter issue and continues the same sequence of pagination throughout the coterminous year, is a journal. Some professional or trade publications are also peer-reviewed, an example being the Journal of Accountancy. Academic or professional publications that are not peer-reviewed are generally professional magazines. The fact that a publication calls itself a "journal" does not make it a journal in the technical sense. The Wall Street Journal is actually a newspaper.
The earliest example of magazines was Erbauliche Monaths Unterredungen which was launched in 1663 in Germany. It was a literary and philosophy magazine. The Gentleman's Magazine, first published in 1731, in London, is considered to have been the first general-interest magazine. Edward Cave, who edited The Gentleman's Magazine under the pen name "Sylvanus Urban", was the first to use the term "magazine," on the analogy of a military storehouse of varied materiel, ultimately derived from the Arabic: مخازن makhazin ("storehouses") by way of the French language. Wordsmith offers this origin: "Plural of Arabic: مخزن makhzan: storehouse, used figuratively as "storehouse of information" for books, and later to periodicals)."
The oldest consumer magazine still in print is The Scots Magazine, which was first published in 1739, though multiple changes in ownership and gaps in publication totaling over 90 years weaken that claim. Lloyd's List was founded in Edward Lloyd's England coffee shop in 1734; it is still published as a daily business newspaper.
In 2011, 152 magazines ceased operations and in 2012, 82 magazines were closed down.
- Automobile magazines
- Boating magazines
- British boys' magazines
- Business magazines
- Computer magazines
- Customer magazines
- Fantasy fiction magazines
- Horror fiction magazines
- Humor magazines
- Inflight magazines
- Literary magazines
- Luxury magazines
- Music magazines
- News magazines
- Online magazines
- Pornographic magazines
- Pulp magazines
- Science fiction magazines
- Scientific journals
- Shelter magazines (home design and decorating)
- Sports magazines
- Sunday magazines
- Teen magazines
- Trade journals
- Trade magazines
- List of architecture magazines
- List of art magazines
- List of magazines by circulation
- List of 18th-century British periodicals
- List of fashion magazines
- List of health and fitness magazines
- List of men's magazines
- List of 19th-century British periodicals
- List of online magazine archives
- List of political magazines
- List of railroad-related periodicals
- List of satirical magazines
- List of science magazines
- List of travel magazines
- List of teen magazines
- List of women's magazines
- "Magazine Publisher.com's Magazine Startup Guide". Magazine Publisher. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- "History of magazines". Magazine Designing. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
- OED, s.v. "Magazine", and http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=5695.
- Anu Garg. "Magazine". Wordsmith. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- Christopher Zara (22 December 2012). "In Memoriam: Magazines We Lost In 2012". IBT. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
- "A Brief History of Magazines and Subscriptions" MagazineDeals.com
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