Social media is taking over. There is no denying that new, readily available means of acquiring entertainment and news has been increasing over the past 15 years. In these 15 years, physical print media has been on a steady decline in terms of readership. Many people have started cancelling their subscriptions to physical newspapers and opting for an online alternative. Smaller print media companies have suffered the ill fate of shutting their doors, while large organizations are keeping their head above water.
Advertising revenue has also been on the decrease since the mid 2000’s. With print media’s sinking numbers and the constant ad revenue made off of websites, traditional media companies have had to think outside the box. One example of creative marketing could be the introduction online subscription based services in order to regain some of the money lost with the traditional print media. Another possibility could be sites like Forbes that will detect if one is using an ad blocker and request the user to disable it before they can access articles. These are a few ways that these companies are attempting to keep up with a fast paced, online community today. But what will happen to print media?
Perhaps print media will exist in niche communities. They may be strictly used for advertisements rather than opinion pieces. In reality, print media has a long way to go before it is truly dead. There are still many people who read physical print media, many of whom were born before the 90’s. But as time passes the demographics will change from those who grew up with traditional media to those who have grown up with an online twin; a forever connected, separate portrayal of the real person as they want to be displayed. One area that we may see print media live on is with collectors. We have seen many forms of past media have a surge in popularity in the past few years, such as vinyl records or cassettes. Famous issues displaying major historical events may become attractive to many collectors. Media companies themselves can produce special edition print media formats for large events, such as Time’s person of the year issue. Physical print media can have a place in the future, but it will have to be creative in order to do so.