On Point Rant for the Day: Print Ain’t Dead!

As one of the largest industries in the world (bigger than the auto industry in sheer number of employees), print is far from dead says Bob Sacks in Media Vent.

“Did you know that print is a $640 billion dollar business and has been reported to drive $3.8 trillion in related services? That ain’t death, nor near death,” he pronounces. And he’s absolutely right.

As he suggests, we should all repeat this mantra: “Print is not dead or dying. The facts plainly show otherwise.”

That’s the good news. The downside, as BoSacks illustrates, is that the print magazine industry is down; not down and out, but definitely feeling the pain.

“Increasingly selling fewer products as an industry is neither death nor dying, but it is proof that we are moving on with other communication tools and successfully creating new revenue streams. These new communication tools will one day soon be of much greater value than our old beloved and historic printed products,” BoSacks predicts.

We remain somewhat skeptical at his prediction that 10 years from now 80% of the magazine industry’s revenue will come from digital: That seems way too high based on current customer response to digital magazines, and we are seeing growing evidence that advertisers are bullish on the value of print. Still, even if it were to come to that, “That 20% print number will still be a figure in the billions, although far from print’s heyday in 2007,” BoSacks notes.

So let’s assume the worst for a moment. How does a publisher make sure they maintain a healthy slice of the billion+ dollar pie?

“The trick will be to stay smart, agile, and very demanding — demanding of your staff and co-workers, as only the very best can and will survive,” BoSacks advises. “It doesn’t matter what the trends of the industry are to individual companies so long as you can continuously produce unsurpassed editorial excellence in your particular niche.”

Amen to that.