If we were to generalise, women still like to carry around a magazine for reading at home, when traveling, etc. and men love their newspapers. It is the format that’s appealing, the flick of a page, to physically feel the paper, to hold the magazine in your hands. However, this can soon be considered à la vintage style.
The publishing industry is facing challenging times with technological revolutions such as the iPad, as the consumer landscape changes into a digital and people’s consumer habits change. A majority in the industry would agree that the need to adapt and tranform in another format.
One way to overcome this issue is to change the distribution model. Still, a proportion would like to have it traditionally – in print. Introducing print-on-demand. Some small businesses use this model, but it could be replicated on big scale. Think of a Vogue being ordered by the click, by membership online for the loyal customer base, or by number for the occasional buyer. It would become easier for both the customer and the company.
The customers order their favourite magazine(s) by different means – online. Or for the shopper who like to buy it in store, they could place their order at the check-out, and it would be sent home.
This would be more sustainable, less waste, while also reducing costs, as you produce directly after demand.
The availability of newspapers and magazines in the future will depends on the ability of the publishing industry to adapt to the digital age; companies’ ability to work together with platform providers such as Apple and Google, for example by creating apps for different tablets. The Economist is an good example on how that is done on the iPad.
Ironically, technology is creating new opportunities and the iPad may become a revolutionary icon made by Apple that brings this industry forward digitally. This means the role of paper is to change and we need another term than digital paper.