Print media has been a part of societal life for a very long time, specifically in the United States. 20 years ago, a lot of people got their news by picking up a newspaper or magazine. But since the technological boom, the information source for a lot of people have been shifting from print media towards digital media. Now people are looking on websites to get information or to consume their media. Instead of picking up a book at a library, people buy ebooks on their Kindle. Instead of picking up the newspaper in the morning, people check the news on their phone without ever leaving their beds. Instead of picking up a Seventeen magazine, people are watching Buzzfeed videos on YouTube. The landscape of media consumption is evolving away from print media and onto a digital formatting.
Newspapers use to be a central part of a typical American’s modern day, but now everything has changed. The convergence of technology with media has transformed the lives of everyone that consumes it. “Newspapers have been on a circulation decline every year since 1987.” (Stepp 24). People are simply not getting their news from newspapers anymore. More and more people are consuming news through websites. “Ad revenue for newspaper Web sites rose 21 percent to $773 million in the third quarter of last year over the previous year.” (Stepp 25). Some newspaper companies have made successful moves towards creating a successful model for a website, like the Washington Post and New York Times, both with very successful websites.
The way newspapers made money from print media is advertisers buying out ad space in a newspaper to display an ad for their business. Now that less and less people are reading newspapers, advertisers know that if they put their ads in a newspaper, that less people will see them. There is no value in putting your ad in a newspaper because of the declining readership. More advertisers are choosing to display their ads on a digital platform because of the amount of people consuming that type of media. Therefore, the future of the newspaper business seems to be shifting towards a more digital media platform to capitalize on the ad revenue stream coming from digital advertisements. The industry seems to be straying away from traditional forms of media and onto more recent platforms.
Convergence of technology with traditional media has transformed the way we consume our daily media diets. In the case of books, less people are buying print books and more people are switching to digital, using devices such as tablets and iPads. Printed book sales are on decline, but the amount of people reading books has stayed relatively the same. The book industry has recognized this and have made their products more available to people who prefer to read digitally. The financial model for selling books online is still being worked out. Vintage books can sometimes sell for higher prices than new ones, but some companies will price the new ones higher. At least we know one thing, it is cheaper to provide digital books than it is to print and publish hundreds of copies of that same book.
Though print media is on the decline as a whole, the industry least affected by this is probably the magazine industry. Magazines have done a good job of keeping up with the technological convergence that the rest of print media is up against. They have considerable well with producing content over the internet.
Stepp, C. S. (2008, April). MAYBE IT IS TIME TO PANIC. American Journalism Review. pp. 22-27.