What print has going for it cannot be replicated in digital; that’s what makes print such a luxurious channel for readers and advertisers.
Put a group of industry experts on one stage and you’re going to get a broad range of opinions; this is as true in magazine publishing as any other industry.
Recently Niamh O’Donoghue writing in Campus.ie dissected the drift of the 2015 Web Summit, paying careful attention to what publishing execs from several big brands had to say. The upshot, she believes, is that print has a definite future as a luxury medium, offering a kind of status and cachet that simply isn’t replicated by digital.
“With print, you’re committing to the notion that the group of editors have knowledge that you don’t have, and you trust them to deliver stories you want to know,” said Eric Schurenberg of Inc.com from the event stage.
According to O’Donoghue, “Schurenberg believes that the medium dictates the content, but good journalism really shows in print. Inc.com produce 60 stories a day online, but only 40 stories per issue (Inc.com produce 10 issues per annum), which means the stories have to be of a high standard and quality.”
That quality and exclusivity makes ad spends in magazines a good value and offers the “velvet rope” appeal that cannot be replicated in digital.
“Is it economical to spend 150,000 on advertising revenue on a 6-page spread? Yes,” Schurenberg states. “However, this wouldn’t be sufficient online where traffic may only peak at 20,000 visitors; where as there is a much larger print readership.”
Will Harris Condé Nast’s Will Harris bolstered the idea that glossy magazines are just fine thank you, noting that circulation numbers for Vogue have been constant in the last five years.
Clearly Harris’ company understands the luxurious future of print; last summer’s debut of their retooled Condé Nast Traveler not only made a sharper distinction between print and digital content, it redesigned the print product itself for a more luxe heft and feel.
And he touched on a familiar angst among the crowd, emphasizing “the importance of taking a break from the digital world, and that reading a magazine should be seen as a luxury.”
To a world growing weary of the digital disruption, it’s an idea that resonates.