Touchy: The Good Reason Brands are Going Back into Print

It’s the right time to be leveraging the very real and highly lucrative nostalgia market.

It’s a trend that’s been getting lots of coverage in the industry press – more and more titles are returning to print after a hiatus or an attempt to go all-digital. And now, the mainstream media is picking up on it too.

“At a time when print publications are shuttering their physical editions, Paste is going back to print,” writes Michelle Castillo in CNBC.

“The publication, which has been around since 2002, ceased its monthly print edition in 2010. However, it has found that among its 7 million digital readers exists a hankering for a copy of the magazine they can hold in their hands. To meet that demand, it’s relaunching a quarterly print edition, which will ship with a vinyl sampler for its readers. The first issue will be March 2017,” Castillo explains.

“There is some aspect of it that is a throwback,” said Josh Jackson, founder and editor-in-chief of Paste. “So much of what we consume is online. There is something about having a physical product.”

It’s all part of the larger trend of titles that are leveraging the very real and very lucrative nostalgia moment. And Jackson understands the key to succeeding in print in this age of digital collections.

“If you’re going to purchase something physical,” he said in an interview with Chris Sutcliffe in the Media Briefing, “it better feel special.”

Castillo reports that Paste is far from the only title going back into print as part of this return to tangible.

“Spin published its first print edition since 2012 in October. And, some previously online-only publications are trying their hand at a physical product. Advertising publication Digiday launched a quarterly print magazine, Pulse, in April. Jewish news site Tablet launched a bimonthly print edition in late fall 2015,” she notes.

What’s different this time is the way print is being viewed as the luxury product in the magazine brand. The titles are part of a larger multi-channel media effort that pulls from all directions and offers advertising partners choices…a welcome relief in the age of massive digital ad fraud.

We expect to see more titles re-emerge in print this year, as brands realize the value of print in their publishing model. And we are thrilled to see the story getting some mainstream attention.