Changing Times – Print Media v/s Digital Media

Changing Times

Times are changing. With new lifestyle trends accompanied with technological conveniences, and it comes to media preferences, people are switching to digital in swarms as it is a far better and convenient way to meet information media needs. Gone are the times when people had the time and patience to go through the intricate structure of the newspaper with a face full of tepid expressions. At least that’s what the latest stats of the Audit Bureau of Circulations say. Celebrity magazines like Hello and Heat have lost their audience and as a result, have lost their place on celebrity websites. Men’s Magazines like Nuts, FHM and Zoo Weekly have suspended their publication following their declining circulation and sales (-29.7% approx.). Even NME, a leading British journalism magazine publishing since 1949, has seen a downfall in its weekly circulation by 16.6%. Magazine printing is surely taking a different road in the coming few years.


These figures, however, are only a partial reflection of the actual scenario. The Professional Publishers Association, the industry trade body for published content, released its first combined digital and print circulation chart with the traditional ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulation) figures. The report shows the actual downfall that print media is facing in terms of circulations, audience reach and copy sales. Print media has limitations with its stringent format and limited interaction. Whereas the digital versions have more consumer reach and interactivity with the help of HD videos and high-resolution images. A very prominent example would be Top Gear. Top Gear switched to digitisation and launched their content in an app version of their magazine. It is currently the top motoring app in the UK and the USA. Top Gear’s editor Charlie Turner said in a statement that people are moving rapidly to the iPad version where they can instantly get access to high definition images and videos.

In a similar case, the popular B2B magazine, UBM’s award winning ‘Property Week’ transformed from a run of the mill B2B magazine to a multiplatform brand providing high-quality journalism and data analysis, courtesy, their former editor, Giles Barrie. In the field of magazine printing, content is as important as anything else. Good content ensures the brand’s survival and popularity among the targeted audience. This is where content agencies come into play. Redwood, a famous content agency, produces digital content for Barclays and print content for Mazda’s biggest international magazine, Zoom Zoom with 1.5 million copies circulated in 30 countries. One such content agency, The Church of London, produces Google’s print magazine, ‘Think Quarterly’ and alongside, content for Honda, Stella Artois and the British Institute and even for Sony PlayStation. The agency’s co-founders recently launched another creative agency called ‘Humans After All’. The agency’s CEO Danny Miller says that the team has been inspired by the arrival of new tools that would help connect people with their passion as well as with each other in ways they never thought existed.

Great content always originates from passion. And if passion, fueled by knowledge, is the soul of a magazine, readers will automatically be attracted towards brands that continuously strive to bring quality content to its readers. A great example of such an ideology would be Conde Nast’s magazine, Easy Living. Its circulation climbs up 7.5% year on year with its current circulation being just a little above 150,000. Deborah Joseph, the editor, has added fashion pages, confessional features and even launched a new website, featuring blocks of sections on various topics like culture, fashion, cookery and much more, much similar to the visual template of Pinterest.

Magazines are starting to recognise the importance of straying away from their usual ways and innovating. Giants like GQ have started their Man of the Year, Time does its Person of the Year and Property Week has its conferences, networking events and webinars. The game of magazine printing is changing and so are the players.

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