WHY ARE SO MANY DIGITAL PUBLISHERS TURNING TO PRINT?

In yet another sign that the print naysayers are wrong, a growing number of publishers and websites that had previously only put out content in a digital format are now turning to print. Examples include:

• Reddit – The popular social news site published a book that is a 400-page compendium of some of their favorite “Ask Me Anything subreddits”. While the book is available in digital form, the $35 hardcover versions have been surprisingly popular.1

• Tablet – In November 2015 Jewish website Tablet launched a print magazine that features entirely different content than the website. Editor-in-chief Alana Newhouse commented that the print magazine was created “to provide a deep, thoughtful read.”2

• YEG Fitness – Thanks to reader demand, this 3-year-old digital publication is launching a print version in 2016.3

• The Pitchfork Review – Launched in 2014, the site’s print magazine is a 200-plus page quarterly publication dedicated to long-form music writing, photography, design and comics.4

• Porter – This glossy publication launched in 2014 by online luxury retailer Net-A-Porter has been billed as the first “global, truly shoppable fashion magazine.”5

• Catster & Dogster – These new print magazines from popular online communities for cat and dog lovers were launched in 2015.6

Why are so many digital publishers turning to print? Because print is effective, and it provides a very different experience than digital. A printed magazine’s physicality requires that it must be handled in some way when it arrives. And many magazines are not just handled once – they’re kept and shared, often residing for months in a place of prominence in the home or office.
Many readers are asking for print, many advertisers will only purchase ads in print, and now many publishers are obliging them.

 

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1 Sawers, Paul, “Reddit publishes $35 hardcover book of its most popular AMAs,” Venture Beat, January 5, 2016. 2 Guaglione, Sara, “Online ‘Tablet’ Magazine Launches Print Edition,” Publishers Daily, November 13, 2015. 3 Johnson, Doug, “YEG Fitness magazine gets print edition,” EdmontonExaminer.com, December 23, 2015. 4 Nagy, Evie, “Pitchfork To Launch $19.96 Print Publication, ‘The Pitchfork Review’,” Fast Company, November 21, 2013. 5 London, Emily, “Porter Is An Incredible Magazine for Incredible Women,” Refinery29, February 7, 2014. 6 Mickey, Bill, “I-5 Publishing Launches Dogster and Catster in Print,” Folio, December 2, 2014

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