Behind the Scenes: Online Magazines’ Initiatives towards Staff and the Audience. An Analysis of +31Mag Magazine
This thesis investigates how online magazines have adapted to the current market after decades of digitalisation of the industry. More precisely, it examines current online magazines’ internal dynamics in terms of their way of organising the staff and in their relationship with the audience. Literature, theories and studies related to the fields of the creative industries, digital media and magazine industry, have led to the establishment of a theoretical framework. The theoretical framework has served to guide the empirical analysis that was based on the data gathered during field observation, interviews and web analysis. This thesis has selected +31Mag as the case study, an online magazine based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The thesis was divided into two independent parts, one concerning the internal staff’s organisation and the other regarding the relationship with the audience. Both chapters open with the theoretical frameworks and then proceed with empirical investigation. The research reveals that online publications have adapted to digital change by adopting extremely flexible models of organisation. Models of pyramidal hierarchies have left space to horizontal structures of organisation in which autonomy is largely provided to workers, and low levels of control are exerted. The relationship with audiences has become increasingly complex, especially for from small to middle size publications that are more influenced by audiences’ behaviours. I conclude that the magazine industry has entered a new era, and new editorial staff organisational models, as well as new models of interaction with the audience, are emerging.
Faculteit der Letteren