Publishers differ in approach to changing media consumption

It could be said that the mixed response to the challenge of digital media consumption amongst publishers is quite reminiscent to the music industry ten years ago. If things stay as they are, then in some sectors (note the use of the word ‘some’) the future of publishing looks pretty bleak.

Nicola Bradley - Media Planner & Buyer

Nicola Bradley11.02.2014

The architectural media is a great microcosm of this with some publishers steadfast in their view that print has and will outlast – investing heavily in their printed product in the last 6 months to give the products a real perceived value (RIBA Journal) or critically making it something worth continuing to pay for or even something worth paying more for (in Blueprint’s case reducing frequency and upping pagination and production values) - the ‘if you build it they will come’ approach (apologies for the film analogy). Yet at the same time we have Building Design announcing last week that the 14th March issue will be their last in printed format as they go purely digital focusing on their various live events. Similar target audiences, but a completely different approach.

But who’s right and wrong or can both approaches work? How much of a publishers strategy is dictated by their view on their readers shifting consumption patterns and how much of it is simply a case of playing to their own strengths as a publisher?

As one publisher said to me a few months ago, you’ll know whether our strategy is right if I’m still sitting here in a years’ time.

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