Growing Pains

by michele 13. June 2013 04:27

For the "reading industry"

I spent last week at MagNet, Canada's magazine conference which I always find engaging and inspiring. I often come back with lots of actionable tasks in my note book. This time I have come away from the conference with a better sense of what is ahead for us as an industry. Bo Sacks, Precision Media Group, talk was on modern media trends. He said the "pulishing industry is just experiencing growing pains not armageddon." There is a shift, no question and it is heading toward digital. The analogy was naturally the vinyl LP and it's previous domination of the music industry and now its much smaller market segment. I saw three record stores in Leslieville, TO, two on Queen St W, TO and now Taz here in Halifax is opening a second location, which shows that good quality/content does have lasting appeal. Another speaker made reference to boomers and millenials being very different and yet very similar. The boomers joy of discovery was computers, for millenials the joy of discovery is analog. His sons use straight razors to shave and wear fedoras!

One of the growing pains for the industry is the multitude of devices that people use. Bo Sacks held up a newspaper and a phone and asked which one was the primitive device. Answer: the phone. The printed newspaper is perfect after 600 years but the phone will be different yet again in 5 years. With mobile, desktop, laptop and tablet platforms there is the need to publish for each. According to David Carey Hearst Corps Magazine CEO "While we love the different screen sizes for consumers , as publisher, there is enormous complexity in terms of adapting our product." With devices changing so rapidly and the life cycles unsure it makes it very expensive for publishers.

Bo Sacks predicts by 2020 digital will be king. As the industry evolves there are a number of relatively new publishers that are making their mark delivering great content, great design and the experience that people will continue to desire. Printed magazines are here to stay and will enjoy a place in the industry that is satisfies the need for a crafted product and a different reading experience.


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About the author

I was born in Yarmouth and grew up in Chester. I have lived on a sailboat, travelled to Zimbabwe, and lived in England where I worked in a fabulous country house hotel. While in England I met Stephen and then brought him home to Nova Scotia. Now I am a wife, mother of two great kids, and a businesswoman. Life is good.