The decline of print media has been long predicted by analysts, and each week new, grimmer figures seem to arise to back up the point.
Old business models which relied on simple printing techniques and cheap materials to get publications seen by as many readers as possible have suffered, because they simply can’t compete with the online market. With online publication and distribution needing a fraction of the overheads required by more tangible publications, the numbers are simply stacked against print media.
Yet print hasn’t gone away – instead, successful companies are simply adapting their business model.
The backlash against online media has been growing for some time now, with customers growing jaded of the poor-quality design and content that is often the end result of online media. With much lower rates for advertisers, profits depend on getting as many views as possible, and aren’t hugely impacted on whether the readers enjoyed it or are likely to stick around.
In fact, the number of magazines being launched has grown in recent years, with a few common trends among them; they’re often short run, focused towards a specific demographic, have high-quality design, and charge a premium as a result. A far more captive audience leads to higher value of both the product and the advertising space – a business model that seems far more effective in catching those increasingly turned off by online media.
While such approaches have been taken online too, the effect can’t compare to quality print media, from magazines to business cards and leaflets. Techniques such as foil blocking and case bound books help to draw the attention where flashy designs on websites are simply tuned out due to users being used to ignoring everything but the content and the limitations of web browsers.
With even established companies recognising the value in short run printing and rediscovering their creative flair as a result, the proof that print is making a comeback is now as tangible as the form itself. With new business models catered to the modern age backed up by quality design and craftsmanship, print is once again carving out its own niche in the world.