Back in 2007 the pioneering and much missed publisher Felix Dennis remarked, “It’s a long, slow sunset for ink-on-paper magazines, but sunsets can produce vast sums of money.”
Eight years later the sun is still shining for many publishers, with print remaining the preferred platform for large numbers of consumers as demonstrated by the recent ABC DAY results.
In fact, a recent study from analysts Ovum predicts that even in 2020 print will be the format of choice for many consumers and has prompted Ovum to ask whether some publishers have been too quick to kill off their legacy businesses.
In fact in some sectors, print continues to grow and successful new launches are still far from uncommon.
But there have been some pretty high-profile sunsets for print in the last few years – Newsweek and Company are just two that spring to mind – and nobody could try to deny that print revenues have dipped as digital’s star has risen.
Most publishers today have a multi-platform strategy. One that takes in digital, video, events, social media as well as print. It’s a brand strategy that needs to be fluid and flexible because the publishing environment and audience behaviour are changing all the time.
Just think how the media business has changed even in the past few years. It’s now commonplace, even expected, for publishers to run conferences, seminars, supper clubs and the like as extensions to their core brands.
Sometimes the conference is the core brand. A conference like TED has grown from a one-off event focused on technology entertainment and design to a global online phenomenon which attracts world leaders and whose talks have been watched online by over a billion people.
We keep being told that mobile is a massive opportunity for publishers. But we’re still getting to grips with mobile audience behaviour.
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