Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Print media making a comeback

By Karen Smith

All is not lost in print media, and according to ‘theconversation.com’ magazines still have the place in the market. Here is a summary of the article on their website.

Print magazines, though not as popular as they once were, have defied predictions of demise. Despite a decline in print magazine culture since the 20th century, with many publications moving online and facing competition from digital media, new titles continue to emerge. In 2021, 122 new print magazines were launched in the United States alone, suggesting a persistent interest in this form of media.

While online platforms offer diverse short-form content, and social media has impacted traditional advertising markets, print magazines endure. In Australia, print magazine sales rose by 4.1% in 2023, and previously discontinued publications, like Girlfriend, have made nostalgic returns to print.

Several factors contribute to the enduring appeal of print magazines. Some attribute it to the physical experience of reading on paper, suggesting that information absorption differs from screens. “Digital fatigue” from the pandemic has also led to a small shift back to print media. The aesthetics of print magazines, including layout, images, and copy, contribute to their appeal, especially in genres like fashion and travel, which rely heavily on visual design.

Advances in printing technology have made smaller print runs more cost-effective, allowing new magazines to target niche readerships and focus on quality. The emerging trend involves higher cover prices, better production standards, and less frequent publication schedules (quarterly or biannually), reframing print magazines as luxury products rather than cheap and disposable.

Print magazines, unable to match digital media’s real-time updates, aim to maintain dedicated readerships through meaningful and aesthetically pleasing publications. This positioning may shield them from the turbulence experienced by digital media reliant on advertising revenue, as seen in staff upheavals and shutdowns at various online magazine-style websites.

Advertisers are showing renewed interest in print magazines, as recent research indicates a strong consumer preference for print advertising. Consumers are more likely to pay attention to and trust print advertisements, while online ads are often ignored or dismissed.

In conclusion, though the circulation and influence of print magazines may have diminished, they are not dead or dying. Instead, they seem to be finding a smaller yet sustainable niche in the media landscape, adapting to changing preferences and technologies while preserving their unique appeal.

This is good news for magazines, and for magazines like Hort Journal, 87% of readers still choose to receive their copy in print form.

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