Are Printed Magazines Here to Stay?

A recent survey by YouGov publicised by PrintWeek has backed up what many of us in the paper industry have been saying for a long time; reports of its decline have been greatly exaggerated.

Printed Magazines Still Popular

Although e-readers have become popular presents and the news is frequently streamed through social media sites, magazines continue to be read and enjoyed in their published paper format.

The recent research from YouGov SixthSense found that 40% of UK magazine buyers preferred to read the printed version the digital format. Although this figure changes according to the demographics of the readers and the subject matter of the magazine, overall the implication is of a healthy future for magazines in the immediate future.

Men are three times more likely to read online than women, with just 5% of women preferring online compared to 15% of men, so still a modest total for online readers. Interestingly, a total of 11% of those surveyed read both online and in print.

Printed Versions of Magazines Have Several Advantages Over Digital

Unlike technology, paper does not require the latest version “to run” and can be accessed easily by people without the need to find a plug, have a fully charged battery or worry about sand getting into the electronic components. Printed magazines also avoid the cost implications involved as people outlay significant sums to purchase an electronic reader over a single magazine or book.

Parents and Children Prefer Print Over Digital When Reading Together

Another recent survey, conducted by New York’s Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, asked 1,200 parents how they preferred to read with their children and which platform their children preferred. The majority answered print to both questions. Parents it seems prefer to read printed books with their children over digital options, believing too that their children prefer being read to in print.

Even the Ordnance Survey have Tweeted recently about the posting of grid reference signs for lost walkers on Snowdon to help them refer back to printed maps with a compass, rather than engaging in more modern technology.

Paper is a Sustainable Option

In recent times, there was some criticism of paper based produces and their impact on the environment. However, sustainable considerations show paper is probably less damaging to the environment in the longer term than the latest phone, tablet, games console or television, which seem to have become disposal, being dumped as the latest version becomes available in our throw-away society. At least paper breaks down quickly and is easy to recycle too.

There are still many people that prefer print to digital, as they enjoy the look and feel or printed publications.

What do you think is the real recent trend? Do you prefer printed versions over digital formats?