A lot of print publishers are finding that their move into digital hasn’t delivered all the benefits they were expecting.
Nobody was reading their magazine anymore, so they launched an iPad edition, a digital flipbook, and then they found out that their readership didn’t actually increase all that much. People still don’t read the magazine.
Perhaps print was never the problem.
If people aren’t buying your print magazine anymore, maybe it’s not because they don’t like print, maybe it’s because they don’t like your content.
The reality is that people haven’t turned-off print at all. Just as the invention of TV didn’t stop people listening to the radio or going the movies, it did change the way they consumed them forever. Families no longer gathered round the radio in the evening to listen the latest programmes (not the TV anymore either!).
Similarly, they don’t need print to get the latest news or a range of other information that they can get more easily, quickly and cheaply online. But it’s still a great way to indulge in a more in-depth reading experience, to focus on an issue or topic of importance.
In the end, people choose whatever works best and in an average day will most likely consume some information via mobile, some through their desktop, some in print (and even some on the radio).
So if people stopped buying your magazine because they were getting better information through a website or a youtube channel, they’re not going to switch back just because they can now read your magazine on their iPad.
Does this mean magazines shouldn’t be investing in digital technology? Of course they should be. Because on the flipside, if people do like what you’ve got, they’ll want to seek it out through a variety of other channels as well.
It just means there’s not always an easy answer and you can’t always blame the internet and claim that ‘people don’t like print’ any more.