Printed magazines and newspapers have been a part of readers’ daily lives for as long as anyone can remember. Then digital walked into the picture over 20 years ago and has been giving print a run for its money, literally. But print isn’t disappearing as quickly as we might think.
Digital media may be more available and versatile, but there still are those "old-fashioned" readers who love holding the newspaper in their hands while drinking their morning coffee, or reading a glossy magazine on the beach. While they still publish printed pieces, publications have been forever changed by digital publishing. People have started to wonder: how are magazines’ digital platforms different from their print? And is print really going to fade away?
What's different about digital and print?
When it comes to print for magazines there is typically one physical issue per month and for newspapers one issue every day. On the digital side of publishing, magazine and newspaper companies have made themselves available on multiple platforms over time such as on websites, Snapchat Discover, Instagram and Facebook and more recently on their own apps. The social media presence of the publications exploded due to the expanision of smart phone and tablet use. In addition, a digital version of the print publications are usually available for purchase online.
Publications that are available on multiple digital platforms and print are available for the consumers to find them virtually anywhere. Whether that be on the computer at work, on a smart phone while you walk to class, or in the mail, they are always there for you. The availability of these publications in many different forms allows them to target a more diverse group of consumers. Magazine and news publications will continue to grow their digital base because the internet is always evolving and its amount of users will continue to increase.
When it comes to content, print is slightly different from what’s online because it’s a set amount of space for a specific amount of content. On websites and social media, the publications are able to post varied and more content than what’s printed, which has helped them to increase the amount of readers their publication reaches. For example, Cosmopolitan or Time Magazine will be consistent with the type of content they post and what represents their brand, but will not contain the exact same content in different platforms. The content varies in the sense that a picture a publication posts on instagram will not be related to an article in a printed publication. The volume of content and availability of the publications between all digitial platforms is what has helped these publications stay relevant.
So, what is print's fate?
When publications first started creating websites, it had been rumored that print was doomed and it would eventually fade away. In 2017, this does not appear to be happening any time soon. The number of print readers is not that much smaller than the amount of digital readers. Yes, while the readers of digital may be reading on their multiple platforms, there still is a significant amount of readers that read print. In a study conducted by Freeport Press, more people reported that they had actually read less digital magazines than print. There are many different statistics but for those of you who do enjoy the sensation of flipping through the pages, keep print thriving.
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