Next Magazine to scrap print edition and go digital only

Next Digital's Next Magazine is to end its print edition next Wednesday (14 March) and move solely online after 28 years, the magazine announced yesterday.

The move comes less than a month after the HK$500 million sale of its magazine business deal fell through.

Next Digital sold Next Magazine to Hong Kong businessman Kenny Wee in the middle of last year, but the deal was suspended several times and it remains uncompleted.

Last month, Next Digital said it had not received payment from Wee to complete the transaction.

In a video interview, Next Magazine's publisher Louise Wong said the decision came way before the deal as the title has been running over 20 years and the management had since evaluated if it should go solely digital.

Wong said that going digital is an inevitable trend since readers have a growing appetite for online content. She added that the new digital publication will retain the name Next Magazine as it "has always been the epitome of exclusive news."

According to Next Media Trade Union, seven jobs will be lost as the publication becomes online-only while about 30 jobs were cut in late February due to "business model change".

According to its 2017/18 interim report, the books and magazines business recorded a segment loss of HK$67.6 million. Meanwhile, the advertising revenue of Hong Kong Next Magazine was HK$9.8 million, a decrease of 33.8% compared with HK$14.8 million in the same period last year.