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Mobile And Print Can Live in Harmony

April Godwin
Monday, Nov 14, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Mobile devices have revolutionized the way we access information. Long gone are the days when we had to wait for the next newspaper issue or magazine edition, now we can find out what’s happening anytime from anywhere.


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Everyone I know has a smartphone, and at least half of those people have a tablet or netbook too. In fact, research has shown that one out of every five American adults plans to own a tablet by 2014.


Mobile devices give us instant access to a wide range of entertainment options and a wide range of tools that help to make our daily lives easier. We use them to keep up on the news and weather, to monitor business trends and stock prices, to balance our bank accounts and to do our shopping. We’re even using them at work, or away from work, so we can get the job done.


Now that we’re spending so much time finding and reading content online using mobile devices, a lot of people are wondering, is this truly the end of print publishing?


The Proof is in the Pudding


It turns out; these two mediums actually play very nicely together. A study conducted by GfK MRI concludes that instead of abandoning print media, people who use e-readers and tablets are likely to use print media too.


In his blog post, Study Says Tablet, E-Reader Users Haven’t Given Up Print, which uses data pulled from the GfK MRI study, Matt Kinsman explains how “tablet owners are 66% more likely than the average U.S. adult to be heavy users of printed versions of magazines, while e-reader owners are 23% more likely to be heavy print users.”


And, based on another recent survey, this one released by FTI Consulting, Inc., Stefanie Botelho tells us that despite the current rate of user engagement with digital magazine content, just 38.4%, there is a “huge level of opportunity for magazine publishers in the digital sector.”


Enter the interactive periodical, an electronic medium that incorporates video, optimized layouts and navigation, interactive features and enhanced content for a print-plus experience.


The global consulting firm Oliver Wyman conducted a study on behalf of Next Issue Media to assess the consumer demand for interactive periodicals. In the study, they surveyed 1,800 U.S consumers, across more than 200 periodical titles. The findings tell us that consumers are willing to pay for interactive periodicals, and that many of them believe that print and interactive periodical formats complement each other.


Yes, They Can All Get Along


Instead of a battle royale for ultimate market supremacy, we’re seeing a sly integration between mobile and print media.


Action codes, such as Tag, offer consumers a fast and easy way to transform their print experience into an electronic one. And we’re starting to see Tags popping up everywhere.


Flip through a publication like Woman’s Day or People and you’ll find Tags that take you to content like videos, micro sites, sweepstakes or contest entry forms, coupons, and online storefronts. Tag gives publishers and consumers a free service that makes their mobile media experience more flexible and engaging.


Based on the available research, it’s easy to conclude that the combination of mobile devices and print media can, and probably will, lead to revenue growth for the print industry. Do you agree? Let us know with your comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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