What does the future have in store for print media?

30 Nov 2020

Industry Insights

The future of print media is constantly under debate as some believe the medium is dead, while others think it still has the potential to evolve. But what does the future of print look like in the digital era?

2020 has been a difficult year for businesses everywhere, and the print industry is no exception.

According to Amy Watson from Statista, “the US newspaper industry has shrunk by $4.5 billion from 2011 to 2018.” The industry’s demise has left no one immune, as even huge publications like The New York Times have suffered from their revenue dramatically decreasing by half since 2006

Despite this, print media appears to be on the rebound. Why the sudden turn around? Well, given the current climate, people are spending more time at home, and thus, more time online. This constant interaction with the online world has led to consumers experiencing ‘digital fatigue’. 

Since consumers are constantly faced with a flood of notifications, a revolving door of programmatic ads and millions of apps at their disposal, they can easily become overwhelmed. These feelings of anxiety and stress, caused by constantly being connected, is called digital fatigue. 

Print is evolving

As consumers are inundated with content online, many are looking to do a digital detox and print media offers the perfect escape. Despite the decline print has experienced over the past few years, the industry is transforming and the future is looking optimistic.  

The future of print media is looking to be on the rebound because of the unprecedented expansion the industry is experiencing. As print and digital merge, it does not only improve the way printing technology works, but it is useful to other industries as well. 

For example, an omnichannel marketing strategy makes use of both print and digital advertising techniques and it is more effective in reaching the consumer

Another reason the industry is evolving is largely due to the fact that the public perception of what print actually is, is changing. Before, print was perceived as outdated; but now, people are starting to realise how valuable this medium can be because of its trustworthiness and authenticity. 

As the people stop thinking of print in a one-dimensional and traditional sense, they are able to understand just how important the medium is in all aspects of life. Jay Goldscher, president and CEO of PGAMA, perfectly summed this up by stating, “When you look around today, everything you see is printed, but people don't connect that with the printing industry. And that's the future.”

Print has evolved past just paper and now has 3D applications. This was a major innovation for the industry as it showed its diversification. Now printing presses can expand into the world of packaging. This will help the industry expand as packaging is not something people would traditionally colorate with print and it is in high-demand. This is because the e-commerce industry is booming and brands need to find attractive packaging for their products.   

Print can support digital advertising

Many experts believe the print industry is dying. This is because they think it is in competition with digital media. But what if these mediums could work hand-in-hand?

If there is one thing print media has over digital, it is consumer trust. As we live in a digitised society, ’fake news’ is rife and this leaves consumers second-guessing if the information they read online is 100% accurate. Print is regarded as more trustworthy because it offers a more authentic and personal experience.

As print is considered to be the more authentic medium, it can be extremely effective when integrated with digital advertising.

Top Media Advertising reported that a whopping 98% of the public sees some type of OOH (out of home) advert, like a billboard, each week and 26% of these consumers visited a store because they saw an OOH ad. This proves just how effective print advertising can be in driving online traffic.

Print and digital to work in harmony

Even outside of the advertising industry, print and digital media can be more powerful when used together. As the digital world continues on its upwards trajectory, print is learning how to evolve and fit into its new role in the media environment. 
Do you want to know more about the evolution of print media? Be sure to read why Print is definitely not dead here.