Are Printed Media Platforms Facing a Digital Threat?

The main question that’s popping up in the minds of most writers, publishers, and marketing departments these days, is whether printed media will soon turn into a revered piece of the past. If you’re pondering the same thing, then we’re on the same page. Let’s go over a few things that pretty much stand as a robust reminder of the signs of the time, and what this can lead to.

How It All Began 

Dating back to as early as 220 A.D., the concept of woodblock printing came to life in China and the rest was history. As with all major revolutions throughout history, technological advancements in printing took on several forms, from the German movable printing press to the growing movement of 3D printing, today.

In between the creation of those impacting innovations, came digital prints. Digital prints namely comprised of printing techniques that were meant for use in homes, offices, and larger establishments. And then came the effects of globalization that blended in with—if not mainly arose from—the Internet.

The Internet has, without a doubt, made the world smaller, and has offered countless benefits, especially for different media platforms. But like many things in the world, there are always pros and cons that compete in a balancing act.

Digital Mediums Offer an Easy Reach

With the rise in use of mobile products that connect to the web, people can get access to the matters that have the most meaning to them with just the click of a button. Digital media delivers news much faster than printed forms of communication. For instance, delivering breaking news is much easier to do on television or through the web than through a magazine.

Current Trends

The Internet has turned into a modern-day genie-in-a-bottle, especially when it comes to using the largest search engines to quench your thirst for information. Moreover, most eco-friendly people have grown to be fonder of the Internet, courtesy of the fact that it’s a way to conserve our natural resources—namely, the world’s trees.

Most people are opting for paperless alternatives. The rise of social media platforms has caused people to deliver news and messages much more quickly through these platforms. You might have noticed the larger number of flight passengers that are using e-books to get through longer flying hours, rather than regular paper books. Additionally, many schools are actually switching to the use of laptops and tablets, which could potentially completely replace the use of textbooks. Younger students won’t have to experience serious back issues from carrying their heavy books from one classroom to another.

What Does This Mean for Print? 

Print publications are well aware of this trend. Marketing departments have realized how significant this shift in communication has become, so it’s somehow incorporated in new campaigns. Copywriters and marketers have been working much more closely over the course of the last decade, as using keywords in online content that can generate leads is taken into consideration.

This requires a little more homework since competition on the web is fierce! This has required companies—large and small—to learn the rules of the game. These rules go beyond knowing what time you should post on social media to get more “likes” and followers. It has a lot to do with analyzing what works for each site and how to reduce the number of bounce rates—in other words, the number of visitors who turn to another site after just viewing one page on the site they visit.

Could We Be the Last Generation to Use Print Media?

Bearing all of the above in mind, if you haven’t noticed, print and digital media platforms have coincided and pretty much became one. Digital means have proven to be sustainable without print, but the same can’t be said for printed publications. Printed publications need digital mediums to survive in this day in age.

However, print doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. With generations who have grown loyal to the trusted paperback and hardcover books still around, there will always be a large number of people who would prefer to read their topics of interest on paper.

The real question is, as the latest generation gets increasingly attached to online platforms that will inevitably advance, will print still be as coveted as it has been after ten years? Perhaps it won’t happen as soon as ten years from now, but we might be closer to a fully digitalized world than everyone might think.

I would be interested to see what you think. Please comment below.