There's a question that will strike fear in the heart of any publisher. Whether it's imagined to have come from the mouth of some future toddler who asks it while offhandedly wiping out aliens inhabiting a 3D monitor forty feet away from the breakfast table with a casual sweep of his cereal spoon (note to aliens: don't visit earth, our children are prepared), or it comes from the mouth of some self-appointed television pundit who has somehow tired of discussing the future of healthcare and guns in America. Either way, for those of us in the magazine business this is a hypothetical question that gets our attention.
The facts are these: We live in a rapidly changing world and the pace of change in our personal and professional lives is not going to slow down anytime soon. Witness the changing scene for those of us who regularly travel via commercial airlines to visit customers and business partners. After our special Kodak moment with the TSA and before the beverage cart arrives, the flight attendants will carefully and repeatedly remind us about airport regulations pertaining to the use of various smart phones and electronic readers, all this ironically juxtaposed with careful instructions on how to buckle a seat belt and breathe.
I'm not exactly sure how many of us got new iPhones, iPads, or Kindles this holiday season. I suppose I could Google it, but I think we can all agree that it's a big number. So, has the proliferation of these devices turned print media into a dying industry as many suppose?
The early signs indicate that print magazines aren't going away and, in fact, show pockets of remarkable strength. During Google's relatively short life, magazine readership has actually increased 11 percent, according to data from Gfk Market Research Intelligence, a research firm that specializes in publishing data. And data from Dynamic Logic, a marketing-oriented research firm, shows that magazines outperform other media in driving position shifts in purchase consideration/intent.
Like most industries, publishing continues to undergo dramatic and sometimes painful upheaval as we hurdle and lurch toward whatever shared future lies ahead. In the near term, like most industries, we are beholden to the tenuous economic recovery underway in America. In the long term, content is and will remain king, and the ability to deliver vital content in whatever media form the audience chooses to consume it will rule the day.
We at FE&S remain committed to providing great content in the form of unmatched industry coverage, thought provoking articles, a first-class repository of industry data and proprietary industry research; and then we provide that vital content to you, the industry at large, in whatever form you choose to consume it: in print (both traditional and digital), online, and, of course, in person.