Future Of Media Study Finds Print Is Thriving

A new whitepaper called “The Future of Media” from FIPP and UPM Communication Papers examines the value of print in publishers’ media mix.

The 18-page report from UPM, a paper producer, and FIPP, the media trade organization, states that “despite the emergence of digital channels, print continues to thrive.”

The introductory executive summary reads: “For many publishers, the question is not ‘print or digital?’ It is ‘What role does print play in the print, digital and experiential — a mix that allows us to maximize audience engagement, cross-selling and revenue generation?’”



The whitepaper argues print remains a healthy part of publishers’ businesses: “58% of subscribers still describe themselves as primarily print-oriented, and 60% to 80% of publisher revenues are still generated from print.”

The whitepaper cites MPA’s Magazine Media Factbook 2018-2019, which found the top 25 print magazines reach more adults and teens than the top 25 prime-time TV shows.

Successful magazine companies, the whitepaper notes, are those that “have reinvented themselves as brands that serve their audience via a range of channels, of which print is just one.” The resilience of print relies on finding the right fit for the format alongside other digital platforms, all part of publishers’ offerings.

The whitepaper has a number of case studies, such as The New York Times’ relatively steady print and growing digital subscription numbers and Bauer Media’s strategy to create brand extensions around a central print product.

The whitepaper also brings attention to what it calls “reverse publishing,” where publishers launch print products from digital brands. “These magazines demonstrate the continued power of print.”

Digital-first brands like Facebook, Meredith Corporation’s Allrecipes and retail site Net-a-Porter have recently launched print products, with Grow, Allrecipes and Porter, respectively. 

Hearst also partnered with Airbnb in 2017 to produce travel magazine Airbnbmag.

2 comments about "Future Of Media Study Finds Print Is Thriving".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, April 22, 2019 at 12:23 p.m.

    Such a circular argument -- when we know traditional print magazines and newspapers are dying: Simply create digital brands "of which print is just one."  Right. It's the least profitable one, so it's hardly thriving.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 22, 2019 at 2:50 p.m.

    The plain fact----like it or not---is that most advertisers just aren't sold on magazines or static print ads in general---and it doesn't matter what the audience studies show. Advertisers---branding advertisers---- want immediate results, with TV commercials---sight, sound and motion---telling their stories on TV shows and, to a lesser degree, on digital platforms once the latter clean up their act about ad viewability, clutter, fraud, etc. Magazines have failed to act in unison over the years to develop a convincing story---even though the stats were always favorable---and now, it's probably too late to reverse what is a decidedly unfavorable trend.

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