Understanding Print’s Luxurious Future

theeconomistThe industry in general has seen some surprising and counterintuitive trends of late, according to Michael Brunt, CMO of The Economist who writes:  “…we are seeing an interesting mix of readers who engage with our brand—among our new subscribers, we have been surprised to find that younger people, particularly students, are slightly more likely to sign up for a print-only subscription rather than a digital subscription.”

Brunt’s article, appearing in Folio: last week, underscores what he sees as the real future of print as an “affordable luxury.”

Yes, he says, the migration away from print to digital will continue but, “for major publications, print will still be a huge component of circulation, and at some point there will be a leveling point where the digital migration slows almost to a stop.”

This is due in large part to the fact that Millennials – often assumed to be tech savvy and digital leaning – are growing weary of the constant tech in their lives and often prefer print.

“Readers will continue to value the experience of holding a print magazine in their hands; these publications will become increasingly identified as a luxury rather than an everyday item,” Brunt predicts.

“In the next few years, I predict that print publications will be categorized as affordable luxury items, which puts them in a whole different group—and it’s a good group to be in, as luxury consumption has not seen the dire drops that other sectors have seen, even throughout the Great Recession,” he continues.

This puts publishers in an exciting position as purveyors of truly affordable luxury goods, ensuring that print will hold its value for years to come.