Is Print Dead?

Print is dead. Magazine and newspaper sales are going down the pan. There is no future in publishing.

This is what a lot of people would have you believe, print is dying and we should cross over to websites or get jobs as farmers. Print ain’t dead, it’s just hitting a bit of a slump. Magazines like GQ and Men’s Fitness are more popular now than they have been for six or seven years. Newspapers like UK based Star and Independent on Sunday have both seen increases in sales during the past six months. Good magazines sell well, bad ones don’t.

Print isn’t dead. It’s just boring…

That’s not to say the world wide web hasn’t had an impact on print titles. 24 hour news sites with pages that can be updated any number of times a day pose a serious threat to printed titles. Film and music sites with video and MP3’s can do what no movie or music mag can do in print. Website revenues can often eclipse that of its print counterpart, and advert success can be tracked in real time. Overheads are significantly reduced due to lack of printing and marketing can be more accessible to smaller companies.

So why will print continue to serve for more years than we can count? Because the people like it. They like the physicality of it. Money for something, something they want to read so badly they are willing to pay for it, so they can hold it, roll it up, fold the pages of it, write on it, even swat flies with it. People like the option of being able to access information where and whenever they want, print offers that, web based media doesn’t. Not yet anyway.

We live in a throwaway society where people spend large amounts of money on comfort items like chocolate or magazines. Racks and racks of which are scaresly hard to find in any urban area. Filled with all the latest must know gossip and bargain clothe ranges worn by this week “stars”.

When sales diminish and readership falls is it because of the web or is it because Editors and Art Editors aren’t doing enough stay relevant, exciting and interesting? Are they loosing site of their audience?

Instead of addressing such issues it’s always easier to look elsewhere. The internet is popular so lets use that as both an excuse and a way out. Lets put magazines online.

So that’s where we are, print sales are largely declining and the current belief is that digital interactive magazine publishing is one possible future.

So is this the future of publishing? Is this print’s saving grace or final nail in the coffin? What does future technology hold for the publishing industry? Will ePaper and iPads change the way we view everything? Will wireless internet ever be as wide spread as we want it so we can connect online anywhere anytime? Or is it just a fad, a phase, a trend? Either way it’s an interesting experiment and an important endeavor, and I for one am looking forward to see where it heads from here…

Any questions or comments feel free to email.



One Response to Is Print Dead?

  1. algie deWitt says:

    web and mobile apps are the HOLY GRAIL for small indie publishers.. print is costly and untrackable… numbers are shady in the print industry and advertisers rely heavily on the accuracy and immediate response of the web/moblie.. unfortunately print is a novelty.. still useful in sub-regional markets but global distribution.. comon son.

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