print-is-dead“Print is Dead”

This is a phrase I hear a lot. Newspapers are moving online due to a lack of revenue, books have become eBooks, with more of them available than ever before, and magazines…?

I recently received an email with a preview of Sports Illustrated’s new HTML magazine prototype. The design creates more interaction and personalisation, but what about the practicality of reading it on a  device rather than on paper? A number of people see the death of printed magazines getting nearer, but do you really think the Internet can crush print?

It’s hard to generalise, as although I disagree with the statement, a computer magazine could work better in an online format. For example PC Magazine, which ceased publishing its printed magazine after 27 years, and are now receiving more customers than they ever did before.

I also understand that peoples needs are changing rapidly, and agree with Bob Sacks’ article:

“A basic modern assumption is that things will be as they are, only more so—that is, that we’ll still have the same needs, wants and desires as our forefathers, but we’ll continually satisfy those needs faster and more efficiently”.

But can magazines be an exception to the rule?

Recently returning from holiday, and with magazines being one of my top travel essentials, it made  me think about how an electronic magazine would fit. Obviously you don’t have a computer when you’re away, but you can use a device like the Kindle or an iPad. But what happens when you’re at the beach? I normally strip my bag of anything valuable before hand, so I don’t have to worry about leaving it if I want to go for a swim. So would you leave your iPad unattended? I’ve even learnt from my own beach mistakes, in that Sand and screens do not go together!

After the beach I want to spend a day at the pool, where there are children running around and jumping in. Ever got your book splashed? I wouldn’t mind so much if it was paper, but had I have been reading from a £400 electronic device… I definitely would. And of course, another positive is that at the end of the holiday, you can share your magazines with new holiday makers, or chuck them away to make more room for all your shopping! 🙂

Magazines are picked up and chucked around whenever you need them. You find them in waiting rooms and in hair dressers. You browse the pages, flicking through. Using an eReader changes this into an entirely different experience. They’re valuable, breakable, and it takes time to find and load the correct content.

Researching the magazine industry, “readership has increased 5 percent in the last four years”, with 715 new magazines launched this year alone, which is nearly 2 a day! This doesn’t look like magazines are a declining market. And whilst spending 9 days at IPEX, a buzzing print show in Birmingham NEC, it didn’t look like print is dead quite yet.

So do you see yourself reading top magazines such as Vogue and Country Living online or do you believe that “Print is Not Dead“?

Let me know what you think.

Thank You!

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