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Is print dead? Part II

Is print dead? Part II

A seismic shift is underway in the world of publishing. The very foundations of an industry are being redefined in real time, reports Communicate magazine. Part II

July 28, 2009 7:57 by

El Hajj says the agencies began changing when they started feeling consumers going online more often. While print may have been the medium of choice two or three years ago, he says clients insist on online advertising today. “We used to be very conservative about digital, now it’s critical to have an online campaign,” he says.

Newland says that the shift from print journalism to online consumption hasn’t affected advertising regionally yet, and that the changes we are currently witnessing in the market have more to do with the economic climate. “What we’re seeing in advertising at the moment is to do with cyclical stuff, the recession,” he says. “Not the digital age. We must not get the two confused. I think there is a lot of money in print and publishing capacity. But we should have an answer in three to five years’ time, because the drop off from print to digital doesn’t happen gradually: it drops off quickly and suddenly. I’ve seen it happen in the UK and in Canada; one day you’re printing on paper and the next day your entire revenue base has disappeared. So you have to start planning now.”

Over at The Daily Star, Mroue says they will maintain their print offering, because while he is a big advocate of going digital, he is being pragmatic. “It’s not a wise idea to throw print away and say ‘I don’t care’,” he says. “If you say you don’t care then you die. We’re testing our digital plan while still maintaining our workhorse, which is print. We will impress people with the versatility of our digital life, but print is where our money still comes from. How long will this transition for the growth of revenue continue to be viable on the web? We don’t know. I haven’t met anyone who can say forget print.”

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