Twitter, RSS Feeds, Facebook, oh my! Is Printing Getting Run Off The Press?

Every year more and more new technology emerges and those who live and breathe the printing world are faced with the question “Is print going to be replaced by a new technology?” Will the digital products of Amazon, Apple, Google and others replace the printed word? Everyone knows this is a controversial topic. Clay Shirky, in fact, wrote a provocative piece on this topic last year and his post spurred 1,200+ comments. And so it goes ….

We would be myopic if we were to ignorantly gloss over the forces of the digital age and their implications on the way we do business and the new types of business models that are emerging. There is no doubt that there is a macroeconomic and technological big shift, but in our microcosm of printing promotional materials, we feel the printed word is here to stay.

Advertising and business will forever be interconnected and the modes of advertising are changing, however the Internet is not the panacea. Not everyone is as Internet savvy as the 18 year old college student who spends an hour a day on Facebook.  Yes, it’s safe to say that the older generations are gaining significant traction when it comes to the web and social media and those 18 year olds will one day rule the world, but the key to this entire puzzle is figuring out how digital and print compliment each other not how one can destroy the other.

In fact, the seminal titans of the printed word world recently joined forces—Charles H. Townsend, Condé Nast; Cathie Black, Hearst Magazines; Jack Griffin, Meredith Corporation; Ann Moore, Time Inc.; Jann Wenner, Wenner Media—to talk about the vitality of magazines as a medium. Their “Power of Print” campaign will launch in roughly 100 magazines, reaching 112 million readers per month, in an effort to promote the strength of printing.

To support their campaign they highlight a few compelling statistics:

  • The annual number of paid subscriptions is nearly 300 million.
  • Magazine ad recall has increased by 13% over the last four years.
  • Adults 18-34 read more issues than adults 35 and older.
  • The average reader spends 43 minutes reading each issue.
  • Readership has actually grown over the last five years.

And get passionate in this recently launched video.

As, Ann Moore – Chairman and CEO of Time, Inc., states: “… people find room in their lives for the new media alongside the media they already love”.  Well, the media we love is printing yet we have found room in our lives to use the best of the new (e.g., blog, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Flickr) to compliment what it is we do. We encourage the reader to do the same. Find room in your lives for the media you love and find the best of the old and the new.

“Is print going to be replaced by a new technology?” The answer is no … it will only compliment.


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