About an year ago I had argued that digital media will gradually replace a lot of print media in many categories. I thought I made a reasonable prediction as I have seen continued overall decline in readership of newspapers and magazines since then. Even a prestigious publication like The New York Times (that does extremely well with its online version) is facing challenges with its printed version.
That is why I was totally lost when I received the first issue of AlwaysOn – “The blogozine on innovation.” AlwaysOn is a pioneer in online media, and particularly blogs, and for them to launch a print publication is clearly very interesting. And to do that at a prohibitively high price of ~$50 is clearly a bold move. I subscribe to dozens of magazines (Yes, I do read a lot of print publications while flying and at home) for that price by buying them on eBay and it is highly unlikely that I am signing up for the offer from AlwaysOn, but they probably know what they are doing.
What does it mean for you?
- It is indeed true that print media is in flat/declining trend but it is never going to go away. So keep that fact in mind as you develop a media strategy.
- Studies have shown that print advertising has a lower ROI and that should bring down the cost of advertising soon. Think of it as an inexpensive channel to advertise.
- While we are used to accessing “news” in real time from the web, print media will still have a role in providing content where timing is not an issue (e.g. news analysis, lifestyle, fiction, etc.).
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