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Surviving the Digital World by Domenic CusmanoSurviving the Digital World


The last decade or so has witnessed the disappearance of many print publications. Many others have seen their paid subscriptions and circulation drop dramatically. This is the case for Accenti, having reduced our print run from a peak of 35,000 copies to 5000 in 2012. While the difficult economy over the last few years is surely a determining factor in consumer spending, radical changes in technology are probably the main cause of such a disruptive shift.

     Certainly, the digital publication world is on the rise. Digital tablets such as the iPad and eReaders such as the Kobo and the Kindle allow consumers to instantaneously “stockpile” and access hundreds of digital books and magazines all at once with a few clicks. No longer do we have to go to the bookstore or even order our favourite books online and wait for the mailman. We can get all the information we want on our digital device – it’s faster, cheaper and paperless.

     According to the 2013 Digital Magazine Factbook published by Magazines Canada, a magazine trade association, Canada leads the world in online usage. Canadians spend an average of 41 hours online per month, visiting some 3731 pages. We also spend a weekly average of 4.7 hours on Facebook, 6.8 hours on Twitter, and 1.4 hours on LinkedIn. Is it any wonder that there is so little time left to buy and read print magazines! The data also reveals that, while men and women spend an equal amount of time online, people under 55 spend more time online than people over 55.

     When it comes to magazines, the data shows that though print magazines are preferred by older people, digital magazines that replicate the print-like experience are preferred by an increasing majority of people under 40.

     The implantation of the digital reality means some important changes for Accenti. In 2014, Accenti in print will reduce its publication frequency from four times per year to twice – with issues in spring and fall. At the same time, our online presence at will be enhanced with more frequent updates and more sections. For the time being, access to Accenti Online will remain open and free. However, this policy will be reviewed in the coming months.

     In the meantime, we haven’t given up on the printed page, as the new look of this issue can attest! With its original features on art, architecture, fashion, film, food, history, music and more, Accenti remains at the centre of a dynamic discourse on the influence of the arts in our world.

     Through its annual writing and photo contests, Accenti will continue to support creative expression by publishing the work of emerging and established creative individuals. Since their inception in 2007, the Accenti contests have awarded over $25,000 in prizes to worthy writers and photographers. We plan to continue this mission in the years to come, whatever form Accenti will take.

     Write to us. We would love to hear what you think.


Domenic Cusmano

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