Some former mass magazines are shutting down completely, like Cleo. Others continue in reduced volumes with smaller readership, or as high quality premium products. Many magazines move to online distribution only, albeit not always successfully.
Some of these start ups are printed digitally in excellent quality and runs as low as 50, for niche audiences or while they are building up readership.
Similar to book publishing, where digital print enabled the rise of small and self publishers, with the increased affordability and quality of colour printing, there are many opportunities for digital magazine printing.
In a video the editor of new magazine Organic Life is speaking about the ineffable magic of print.
“All of us consume massive amounts of information digitally on our phones, on our tablets, on our desktops, on our laptops even. But there’s something so special – a really kind of ineffable magic if you will – about the print product. And how we as readers, as consumers of information, relate to the print product. For me, my idea is that’s a very, very extraordinary thing that cannot really be effectively be translated to the digital sphere. I think that print absolutely drowns the noise out.”
There is a very good post on Medium about the economics of publishing an independent print magazine here.