About “That Magic” of the Print Magazine

Is it possible to retain a love of print while embracing new digital revenue streams? Watch one editor’s heartfelt take on this idea.

As James Osland, editor-in-chief of Rodale’s Organic Life knows, “we all live in a VERY interesting moment right now.”

“All of us consume massive amounts of information digitally on our phones, on our tablets, on our desktops, on our laptops even,” Osland explains in a video with FIPP’s editorial staff.

“But there’s something so special – a really kind of ineffable magic if you will – about the print product. And how we as readers, as consumers of information, relate to the print product. For me, my idea is that’s a very, very extraordinary thing that cannot really be effectively be translated to the digital sphere,” Osland continues.

That special quality, that magic, Osland asserts, is print’s ability to drown out all the digital noise.

“For us at Rodale’s Organic Life what we strive to do every single issue is to create for our readers – for our audience – with our print product, a kind of slow food if you will. Something that will allow them to turn out all of that noise, all of that constant information streaming in, and just sit down, quietly some place, maybe even in their bathtub, open up a copy of what we create and SLOW. DOWN,” he says.

But to be sure, digital absolutely has a role in their brand, as it should.

“We have a very robust website that is 1.5m uniques strong per month, we have a very robust social programme: on Facebook we have over a million likes and that’s only a few months into our existence [in 2015],” he continues. He notes that his company continues to explore digital and develop new potential revenue streams there including e-commerce and an entire online study initiative called Rodale U.

That’s the beauty of print in this wildly evolving digital landscape: Savvy publishers are always open to new ways to help build the brand but never forget the grounding presence of that print title and its incredible ability to hold its own amidst the digital noise.

The video is worth a watch. Enjoy!