Fast forward five years – everyone has a smartphone, smartwatch or smart-mobile-something. Digital content will proliferate across all categories, and publishers will see a rise in digital revenues.
And even with all this, print will still be the dominate revenue driver for the publishing industry.
“At an aggregated level, combining revenues from the newspaper, book, and magazine industries across more than 50 markets worldwide, we forecast that just 24% of revenue will come from digital in 2020, up from 14% in 2015,” writes Charlotte Miller in The Media Briefing.
Miller is referring to figures in the freshly-released Digital Consumer Publishing Forecast that takes a five-year view of what’s ahead for the global consumer publishing industry. And according to Miller, “the resilience of print, despite the growth of mobile and digital consumption, may still be underestimated.”
The report predicts that digital revenue will continue to grow, but nowhere near as quickly as some have predicated.
The dilemma, according to Miller, is that digital is where the growth lies, but print remains the medium of choice for consumers.
“The challenge for publishers, then, is about maximising legacy print revenues while seeking to grow those from digital as rapidly as possible. But are publishers too quick to kill off their legacy businesses?”
Part of publishing’s evolution, as Miller points out, must include responding to consumer’s changing demands. And for some types of content that means digital. But for magazines and newspapers, the majority will still want print. Smart publishers will understand the power of print audiences, and will keep those print publications coming.