From Potential to Proof – Print’s Resurgence is Happening

What a difference a year makes.

Back in 2018, FIPP President and CEO James Hewes said he thought 2018 was “going to be a pretty good year, actually.”

“It’s funny you know, ever since I took this job I’ve been hearing more and more people telling me about the resurgence of print magazines and how print magazines are coming back as a medium,” Hewes continued in an interview with Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni.

He was fairly new to his role at FIPP then, but even in his few months there he saw “quite a bit of enthusiasm around print.”

Fast forward to this year, and this enthusiasm has blossomed into a full-scale love fest.

“A new whitepaper called ‘The Future of Media’ from FIPP and UPM Communication Papers examines the value of print in publishers’ media mix,” writes Sara Guaglione in MediaPost. She cites the latest report from FIPP and UPM that demonstrates print as a brand channel is thriving.

“The whitepaper also brings attention to what it calls ‘reverse publishing,’ where publishers launch print products from digital brands,” Guaglione notes. “These magazines demonstrate the continued power of print.”

There are many who will argue this is only wishful thinking; that digital is where all the action is, and print’s resurgence is simply a blip. Yet while the industry put great stock into the idea of digital revenue for publishers initially, that hasn’t panned out.

“2018 World Press Trends, an annual survey of more than 70 countries, reports that print revenues still account for about 90% of publishers’ revenues. Even in digital-savvy Hong Kong, print is entrenched in the city’s fastpaced living,” noted Angela Yap.

Helping to fuel the return toward print as a trusted source is the digital news disaster we know as “fake news.” In its wake, consumers are drawn toward brands and platforms they can trust – and print is a beacon in the digital wasteland.

“Successful magazine companies,” Guaglione continues, are those that have reinvented themselves as brands that serve their audience via a range of channels, of which print is just one. The resilience of print relies on finding the right fit for the format alongside other digital platforms, all part of publishers’ offerings.”