Posted By Annika Peick
To say the journalism industry has changed quite a bit since the publication of America’s first newspapers in the 1700s would be an understatement. Over the course of the its history, journalists have seen dramatic changes in content and style, design and delivery, but now they are also witnessing a total reinvention of the business as a whole.
According to an article featured in Folio Magazine last week, John Loughlin, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Hearst Magazines, highlighted four aspects of the industry magazine publishers in particular should keep an eye on for the future. In his keynote speech for the Direct Marketing Association‘s Circulation Marketing Day kick-off, Loughlin also worked to squash the growing debate of print vs. digital forms of media.
According to Loughlin, the only way to bridge the gap between these two forms is “to embrace the possibility of ‘and,'” signaling a shift from viewing them as separate entities to realizing them as equally valuable in their own rights.
Loughlin presented astounding statistics regarding the growing popularity of tablet technology, a key component of the digital delivery of media, and projected that the days of consumer magazines’ reliance on advertising as 70-80 percent of their revenue is over. With the recent launch of Apple‘s iPad2, tablet technology has come even further into the limelight as an important step in the ever-changing technology of the publication business, and Loughlin predicts that its technology will stretch to reach over 50 million people within 16 months.
Reading all of these statistics and hearing all of the chatter concerning the growing popularity of tablet technology has me confused, concerned and very intrigued. Though I still believe the original iPad is little more than a hyped-up version of an iPod Touch, I am slowly beginning to see that its technology could have ground-breaking effects for the publication industry. Though I still see great value in the ability to physically hold a magazine or book, I think tablet delivery has the ability to offer more depth to a story and supplement it in very interesting ways.
Do you think the publication industry should work to get print and digital forms of media to work together? Do you believe tablet technologies and other devices similar to them will one day completely take over as the exclusive media delivery form? What are the benefits and disadvantages of both delivery systems?