What is old is new again in media! Part 1 – Print

If you listened to the last podcast, you heard about how streaming, online radio and podcasts are growing while actually listening to a AM/FM stations has been on a steady decline. If you look at media as a whole, this is a trend that is taking place in all mediums. New and online media are growing at a steady rate while traditional media is declining. New Media is going to change the way we consume media.

Over the next week or two I’m going to explore how that old media is having a sort of rebirth in new media. This includes Print, Radio, Television and Outdoor. It encompasses all areas of media.  The first one I am going to cover is print.


Print has suffered from massive declines in readership. Every time you turn around you hear something about how newspaper circulation are going down. But what is going to be the future of print. I won’t say that print will completely go away. Look at Vinyl in the record industry. This is a prime example, 20 years after what most said was the death of the LP, you can still purchase LP’s of current artists. Granted it’s a niche market but it’s not dead. This same thing is going to happen to print. (When I say print I include newspapers, magazines and books.)


I think the biggest changes in books are the eReaders. This includes the Kindle, iPad and others.

  • They allow you to take many books with you without having to physically carry them. You don’t have to worry about carrying around several heavy books you can put more books on an eReader then you could possibly carry.
  • They are portable and easy to read. You can adjust the brightness, type size and the readers can even read to you. This will be great for publishers; they won’t have to publish different type sizes, i.e. large print editions.
  • Gone are the book covers. I was listening to This Week In Media (TWiM) and they pointed out you no longer have the abilty to see what people are reading and strike up a conversation.
  • But, this has an upside as well; you can read books that you normally wouldn’t be caught dead in public reading. Say you want to read a romance or Jackie Collins novel, now you can read it safe and sound without your secret being found out.
  • I don’t think the book covers are going away, they will still be used in PR and on websites, but they won’t be shown when people consume the book.


Magazines are another area that could really have a big regrowth in new media. I say this because with the release of the iPad there is a tremendous opportunity for magazine editors to use, print, audio and video all in one. I think for entertainment and news magazines this would be great way to deliver content. I will use the iPad as an example through out this post. If a magazine wants to create a magazine online, they would have it set up to be like a traditional magazine where you flip pages. You slide your finger across the screen. But here are some options that could be contained in the magazine:

  • You can have ads that are display but open up into more dynamic ads. Plus you can go directly to the landing page
  • The editor’s note can be a video recorded for every publication and played rather then read.
  • A story can be written about a new movie and the trailer be embedded in the page.
  • Have real time comments and conversation about stories in the magazine. Happening right in the magazine
  • If a new story has and audio clip. It can be referenced in the text and have a link to pull it up and listen to clip

The ability to make magazines interactive would totally change the way magazines are consumed. But one important thing to realize, to be successful I think the publishers need to put the controls of interactivity in the hands of the reader. If it’s too interactive and everything starts when you flip the page, it will turn people off. It may sound far-fetched but think of when there is music on website and how it can drive you crazy, then magnify that by 12 and you have how annoying this can be.  Its really amazing all the possibilities out there for magazines.


Newspapers have many of the same things Magazines can do. They can add the same ability to embed audio and video. One thing I think that newspapers could do that would be great is to add galleries of photos of events happening live. This could also include user-generated content as well. We have seen this somewhat with newspapers online. Its still very early and I think we will have many things happen before its finalized. Everything I have read about newspapers is the trend to hyper targeting. They focus on a particular region of a city or state. Then make that content extremely relevant to the readers. Newspapers are a tricky medium to me, since currently more and more is moving online. However, one newspaper not afraid of the new media is the Wall Street Journal. They have an iPad App and seem to be creating a new way for consuming newspapers. I haven’t seen the app but am looking forward to checking it out soon.

These are just my ideas and will it play out like this? No one really knows what is going to happen. With all the new devices the future is very unpredictable and will take time to sort out. I would love to hear others opinions on the subject. Let me know if you think I’m right or completely wrong!

Tim is the founder of Element33. A social media agency specializing in education, management and strategy for small businesses. He comes from a traditional marketing agency but has embraced all things digital. He considers himself a marketing nerd and believes that all marketing is tied together. This means no matter what silo you are in, social, email, seach, etc, changes in one will affect the other!

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