May 24, 2012 —
I am a massive fan of magazines.
My living room is filled with back issues of my favourite periodicals, stacked in date order and sorted by title, all with post it notes hanging from the sides, and dog eared from multiple reads and sharing among friends.
I am also a massive fan of online and social.
I love all things blogs and reading about things in real time. My ipad however, regularly sits idle in my handbag, only bought out at meetings, or when a bigger screen than the iphone is required to view a webpage. You can’t take an ipad in the bath to read. I’m sure it hurts when you fall asleep while reading in bed and drop an ipad on your head.
And you can’t put perfume samples in an online publication.
While there is daily debate about the future of newspapers and the immediacy of news on Twitter, Facebook and online updates through major news websites, it seems as although magazines have been written off altogether, with cries of ‘print is dead’ echoing through empty publishing house hallways across Australia.
In the past, people have claimed that with each new medium we create, an older technology will be superseded. As this video (see above link) claims, mediums like radio, theatre and VHS were all going to be outdated by a newer technology – yet they all still exist. The internet was supposed to kill everything – but in 2012, there is still a place for all these mediums, especially magazines, to continue to evolve and provide value for readers.
Magazines can provide an experience that online can not, however…
So is print dead? While online will always have the power of immediacy, magazines can provide an offline experience that is tangible and allows the time to savour the images and words, rather than racing through an online post – evidenced by the average time spent reading a magazine, 43 minutes. Have you ever spent that long on a website?
Magazine circulation may be in decline, but readership remains strong. The future of magazines remaining viable lies in their ability to integrate their online and offline offering, sourcing readers across their website, social media platforms, events AND the print publication. These areas must offer a united approach in order to maintain relevance in 2012 and beyond.
The best examples of this are magazines that have a savvy website, a strong social media presence incorporating Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest, among others, and link their magazine back to their online spaces, such as offering products in the book for purchase via their own channels.
This evolution of media.
The evolution of media is simply part of the ongoing process to always be innovating in the space. New media is the future but traditional media can be a part of this. AdNews Print Editor Damian Francis quoted stats from Roy Morgan in the 18 May edition, evidencing that not only are magazines surviving, many – especially the women’s sector – are actually thriving. The internet and online certainly isn’t going anywhere, so there is clearly a balance to be struck between the two.
At FRANk, we are all about online, but more than that, we are all about being social. In the past, passing a read magazine with post it notes scattered through it to friends was one of the first instances of social – now we post those articles and images to Facebook walls and Twitter feeds. It’s still all about sharing.
Do you still buy magazines? Or consume only online content?