There’s no question that newspaper and magazine publishers are facing major disruption. That’s largely due to four major trends that are rapidly changing how people consume print media:
- Consumers are spending more time online. SHAREFrom 2005 to 2010, US consumers spent 74% more time reading online print media. But they also spent 21% less time reading newspapers and 11% less time reading magazines.
- New devices are growing exponentially.The mobile Internet has taken off everywhere, sparking a revolution in customer behavior. Tablet and e-reader shipments continue to be robust, and an increasing percentage of device owners prefer to read digital versions of their favorite newspapers and magazines.
- The audience is increasingly fragmented.Newspapers are being challenged by online aggregators and television networks, as well as by standalone vertical alternatives. Magazines are losing readership to customizable social magazines and digital-only interactive sites.
- New voices are being heard.The Internet has a low cost of entry, and many consumers increasingly have more trust in amateur blogs, social print media, and other user-generated content. They also want to read new, alternative online outlets for hyperlocal news and content.
In parallel to these consumption changes, new modes of advertising have emerged. Many companies have reacted to these trends by cutting costs. Others have begun taking simple steps to adapt their businesses for the digital age. These tactics are understandable and appropriate, but they are not enough.
The Need for Balance
To achieve long-term, sustained, transformational growth, print media companies must balance two goals: maintain or improve margins and invest for the future.
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