A new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers says print magazine readers are going to be sticking around for some time to come.
In spite of the swarm of free digital content, and in the midst of publishers trying to figure out how to create digital revenue, print magazines are poised to remain the primary income stream for the foreseeable future.
According to a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report, “Print circulation revenue was $6.9 billion in 2015, making up the bulk of magazines’ total $7.8-billion circulation revenue,” writes Amy X. Wang in Quartz. “And print is estimated to still comprise 56% of total consumer magazine revenue in 2020.”
Saying print magazines “are not going to go away,” PwC Consultant Chris Lederer says that publications in “arts, crafts, hobbies, and other reference kinds of categories” look particularly strong.
Caution is advised, however, that publishers aren’t out of the woods on this, as there’s more at play here than consumers’ preference for paper.
“Many subscribers also continue to enjoy the experience of reading magazines, with a routine for reading and enjoying them that is difficult to replicate in a digital edition,” notes the report. “These subscribers are unlikely to switch to digital or cancel their subscription in the long term.”
That’s good news for existing customers, but publishers have to do a better job of engaging new readers to their print offerings. It’s worth the trouble, as clearly those are the readers who can be expected to stick around.