In 2016 – is Print Dead?

Branding questions to ask yourself in 2018_ What's your big, hairy, goal?-9.png

What will the value of print media coverage be in 2016? This is the question haunting PR and marketing professionals’ minds.

Global analytics firm Socintel360 has estimated that digital advertising in Australia will become an $11 billion industry over the next five years. The report also highlights that 80 per cent of the population will engage in social media activity by 2019. Where does that leave print media? With companies ditching print advertising in favor of digital, social, and mobile alternatives the major magazines will need to evolve, or die.

It is no secret that the major publications are feeling the pinch. In November 2015, GQ laid off six key editorial staff members, and News Corp slashed 55 journalism jobs across its Australian newspapers, echoing Fairfax Media’s axing of 1,900 jobs in 2012.

PR agencies are also feeling the push towards digital, as their clients move towards engaging social media influencers as ambassadors to keep up with the demanding online environment. Relationships with print media are placed under stress, as a new crowd of insta-famous bloggers emerge seemingly daily. Talent agencies are the new norm, matching influencers with brands who need a touch of social media love. The new concern for PR professionals is measuring the success of social media campaigns – what is the cost per like? How do you measure engagement?

In short, magazines won’t die off. But they will need to evolve and enter the digital world which some are already doing quite effectively. American and British Vogue are leading the video pack with over 390,000 and 160,000 YouTube subscribers respectively, with compelling and original content delivered to the platform. Will they need to monetise their digital platforms in order to keep their print media afloat? Seems likely.

2016 will bring vast changes to the media landscape. Brands will need to be mindful of their print vs. digital advertising spend, and PR professionals will be expected to go digital or else.