Thursday, October 19, 2006

Print Publishing's Growing Pains.

I continue to believe that the line between print and broadcast will start to blur and then vanish. As we speak, the print publishing industry is reeling. Strategy and reorganizations abound. In LA the Tribune company has faced open revolt as they try to cope with the downswing by reducing editorial staff. Many others, from Dow Jones to the Guardian - household brands all, have announced strategic rethinks.

As is common with most media businesses, newspapers have traditionally under invested in the technology changes changing their world. This is true both for internally facing tech - which drives the business and external - i.e. the web and other consumer facing technologically evolving channels. As the FT reports, the Business Week Magazine, which has been running from 1929, has only had a part time editor for the web version till last year.

The numbers tell their own story - the online advertising has risen by 60% year on year, while print advertising is, of course, flat. The print version has under 1 million circulation now. Even accounting for (say) 5 people per copy, it still reaches less people than the online edition which has 7 million unique users and 50 million page views. The fact that online advertising is still only 13 % of the total, is probably brought about by lack of support there as well.

And still the real numbers aren't getting discussed - the number of registered users, the number of actual clicks on advertising, the hundreds of stratifications possible on the user and usage data which can be fed to gleeful advertisers. Of course nobody in publishing is talking about video numbers, though the FT, and most other magazines are dabbling with podcasts, and videos. This is a mistake. This will grow and the smarter publications will become "pan-media" companies. You only need to look at the BBC to see how it can be done.


Blogger john said...

In this digital age, every publisher should present their publications in digital format as the users are rapidly increasing. Digital publications will help to increase the circulations and this is the best way for instant reach.

I saw a website recently called providing the digitization services for print publications like news papers, magazines, journals, books, etc. and most of the publishers are using services.

3:23 AM  

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