The surge of technology development over the past decade has led to traditional print media falling out of favor. But now that some of these products aren't new and flashy anymore, the industry has begun to settle back into a place of stability, where print publications can coexist with and complement the digital world.
1. Out-of-touch media are being replaced by new players
It's true that some long-standing publications have gone out of business, or moved to digital-only formats. But what's often overlooked is that new ones are popping up just as frequently.
"If one magazine dies, it's not the end of the industry," Samir Husni, known colloquially as Mr. Magazine, told The Association of Magazine Media. "Do I need to tell you how many TV shows have come and gone over the years? Yet nobody said that television was dead."
Husni also said he took note of 870 new magazines last year, a sign of growth and opportunity within the print sector. He went on to point out that in 1980, only 2,000 magazines existed, while today, there are over 10,000 – and that's without counting the numerous digital-only publications that have come into being.
2. The industry has outlasted its most vicious attack
With the continued development of e-reading software and the cloud, the impending doom of print has been a very popular rallying cry for IT leaders. However, print has resisted these attacks, and evolved to compete with digital providers. The Guardian's Peter Preston wrote that the Financial Times, Britain's leading finance publication, launched a redesigned print format in the fall of 2014. This, he said, is a sign that the FT has seen beyond the gloomy forecasts that projected print to be gone by now, and is investing in a future that is centered around physical publishing. Preston went on to note that the most recent trend is to couple digital and print products, instead of exclusively producing one or the other.
3. Digital-only media companies aren't succeeding
Husni stated that he has not yet come across an example of a publication that has eliminated its print format and solely employed digital. This is because of the massive advertising revenue loss – print advertisements cost more, and are far more lucrative for publishers. On the contrary, if a magazine or newspaper stops putting out its print edition and moves online full-time, you can pretty much write its death certificate. Web sales might be slightly stronger than print, due to the convenience factor, but there is no overcoming the absence of print advertising revenue. This is generally a last-ditch effort made out of desperation, and is indicative of organizational failures or poor investments that have lead to money hemorrhaging.
4. Digital and print can coexist
Both sources made the same point – print and digital aren't necessarily rivals or competitors, but, rather, complementary toward each other. Most media publishers – the successful ones, anyway – are beginning to embrace the best of both worlds, and recognize that they are two different ways to convey the same message.