Is Press dead?
When asked that, my response is usually ‘try getting into the Daily Mail classified section this Saturday!’
There is a common perception that the print marketplace is awash with ‘give away’ deals because no one wants Press advertising, and no one is reading newspapers or magazines anymore.
Whilst that is not true, there certainly has been an evolving shift in where media budgets are spent. This is mostly due to the breadth of digital options available in today’s media landscape.
With such a wide array of media touchpoints, it’s common sense that younger demographics have been early adopters of the newer channels over more traditional formats. Conversely, older demographics are more likely to opt for the tried and trusted. This is illustrated by the gradient of decline in press circulations between the younger and older demographics and especially apparent in print title closures over the past 10 years.
Certainly, some publishers are talking a good game, but should we believe all the circulation and readership figures still being quoted? Of course, we are skeptical, but no more so than the numbers quoted across multiple media platforms… analogue or digital. Media is NOT an exact science.
We consume news media in many more ways than we did in the past. For print publishers, it’s a case of adapting to the digital world in the same way as we have seen transitions in TV, OOH & Radio. Press is no different.
We anticipate that some more publishers will fall by the wayside. Some will transform into different entities and some, of course, will cling to the traditional for as long as possible, even in the digital sense (e.g. print “pay walls” do seem a clumsy way of maintaining and growing a readership).
So, is print dead?
No, but print in the traditional sense is certainly in decline.
That said, 10 million people still prefer to hold a newspaper in their hands each day, whilst others prefer to read a headline on Twitter.
What will people want in 20 years’ time? Undoubtedly, something else!
As in life, it is a case of adapt or die for everyone.