Although it might appear as though industries that were traditionally cemented in print were making the mass exodus toward digital and throwing out their historic practices in the process, this is not necessarily the whole story. Rather, it has become clear that print is still a competitive and demanded asset for a wealth of sectors, even those that have experienced major challenges in trying to derive value from these types of investments.
To be clear, the digital revolution certain brought forth a wealth of changes in the global economy, and was immediately met by massive shifts in consumer, corporate and public sector preferences, demands and behaviors. However, whenever a new trend becomes a reality, this is to be expected, but it will never inherently spell the end for those assets, products and services that lost a little ground at the initial stages of the movement.
Print is proving to be more resilient than many gave it credit for, as the rate of declines in investments and revenues has slowed significantly in the past two years after the dramatic drops experienced about a decade ago. If the trend continues on its current path, investments and use of print products and services will actually begin to grow, surely a bit slower than in the past, but expanding nonetheless and regaining traction around the globe.
Magazines are hot
Capital New York recently reported that a wealth of organizations that began with digital-only newspapers and magazines have already decided to put forth a periodical in print form to improve their brand image, increase visibility and drive customer engagement. Again, one way of looking at the trend taking place in media is that newspapers and magazines run the risk of going extinct should they not adjust to the digital era in a timely fashion.
However, keeping in mind that major publications such as The New York Times and Wall Street Journal started at such a high level of circulation when the cutbacks began, one would be counting his chips before the cards are dealt in believing that this is a clear indication of print's extinction. According to the news provider, Skift, a popular travel and leisure website that has gained some steam in recent years, has decided to create its first physical publication to complement digital endeavors in the new year.
"I do think that print still has a value used strategically with a … digital-only company," Skift founder and chief executive officer Rafat Ali told the source, which added that POLITICO and Pitchfork have been other big names to add on a print publication to their otherwise wholly digital programs.
"We sort of took the next logical step and said we should create something even more permanent than that, which is a print magazine that sort of encapsulates what we're trying to do in terms of making a definite document in trends in travel," Ali added to Capital New York. As a note, the news provider pointed out that it itself is also one of these companies that began with an entirely digital foundation and moved into paper publications recently.
Now, what many have started to argue is that digital is not going to stop growing, but more businesses are going to recognize the opportunities to enhance their brand images through the complementary use of physical print. In fact, a firm that does not recognize the value of print at all will likely struggle to maximize its visibility among and conversions of clientele, as there are still plenty of individuals who prefer to read their news in these formats.
Other studies have indicated that college students – yes, young and digitally oriented individuals – have already started to balk on Web-based textbooks in favor of more traditional physical ones. This means that a whole new generation of print lovers is working its way up through the collegiate phases of their lives and will be sure to enter the workforce and consumer market in a relatively short period of time.
Regardless of which industry a company might compete in, print will always come with at least some value and, as such, should never be forgotten.