Stepping Forward with a Digital-to-Print Approach


In October, the media industry took notice of Time Inc announcing to be in negotiation with digital media companies to print their online publications. A closer look at other market players reveals that this approach is quite popular at the moment. Magazine Reader’s Digest, for instance, published a unique print issue featuring digital content that very month. Even on our blog we presented similar examples recently.

Counting on Digital to Prevent Falling Print Circulations

First of all: This development is the best evidence that print is not dead at all. Just some weeks ago we demonstrated that digital technologies have great potential to push print. Now, it shows in yet another way that this is definitely true.

After all,

[Time Inc] is engaged in conversations with several pure play digital companies and exploring creating print magazines for their brands,

as Chief Executive Rich Battista explains. Most striking about this: The owner of Time, People and Sports Illustrated takes this step although it is cutting back circulation and frequency of their own print publications in order to make the business more sustainable. Until now they did not tell the companies they are likely to team up with, but we are looking forward to the answer.

Cherry-Picking the Best Stories from the Web for Print

Reader’s Digest is one step ahead. The publishers see their online magazine as the perfect testing ground for print by identifying their readers’ most favorite topics and stories:

My thinking is we use the web to really figure out what people most care about and then give it to them in magazine form as well,

Bruce Kelley, Chief Content Officer, points out.

In October, the magazine curated its most successful digital health content in the printed “Ultimate Health Guide“ revolving around wellness and fitness articles from its website. After all,

[…] we believe there is a strong appetite for this information in a highly curated print-only edition,

states Kelley.

But this was not their first digital-to-print issue. Back in 2015, Reader’s Digest already launched a cover story inspired by an online slideshow.

How Online and Offline Can Become a Dream Team

As the world’s leading trade fair for printing technologies, drupa always keeps an eye on business trends. This is why we already came across these two examples of publications combining analog and digital experiences over the past year:

SWIPE and its “Internety” Feel

The idea behind the magazine SWIPE points in the same direction as the concepts mentioned above, nevertheless it has unfortunately been ceased this year. The publishers aimed to collect the most important and entertaining news from the internet for millennials living in London in order to avoid information overload. Head over to the full article for more.

Lindsay and its Print Heart

Australian online magazine Lindsay is the exact opposite claiming to be digital with a print heart. This means that readers can benefit from the accessibility online publications offer while focusing on the content without distraction as there are no links to other articles within the texts. Check out this post to learn more about this experiment.

How about you? Do you think such digital-to-print approaches are a good way to counteract falling circulations or prevent information overload? Leave us your opinion in the comment section.

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