From matrimonial ads to beauty campaigns and local stories about a man biting a dog - I consumed it all. Print stood out for me. And when I first arrived in the UK more than two decades ago - one of the few countries where there’s a choice of established print media distributed for free (almost entirely dependent on ad revenue and commuter traffic), I understood better about the power and the authority of brands enhanced by print. Fast forward only a few years later, and the majority of print media titles continue to be under pressure, with surging newsprint costs adding to the longer term trend of declining subscriptions and advertising costs. So what of the future?
Proving print's worth
I understand that when asked ‘is print dead?’ - the argument cannot be binary. That feels increasingly like yesterday’s debate. However, let’s also not forget that in an environment where economic stress is forcing brand owners to scrutinise and optimise every channel, tactic, and campaign - print, as we know it, will continue to flounder in tough times. A recent Reuters survey says that more newspapers will stop daily print production this year due to rising print costs, weakening of distribution networks and diminishing ad revenue. We may also see a further spate of titles switching to an online-only model. Are there any reasons to be cheerful then?