Is New York magazine’s vertical Science of Us a sign of things to come? Predictions of the imminent doom of the print industry have been making the rounds for a couple of years now. New York, one of the few publications that has been able to combine the print and online publishing worlds successfully, has reported that income from digital publishing is fast approaching 50 percent of total company revenues.
New York is close to reaching a 50/50 split between digital and print advertising revenue. The new vertical, Science of Us, launched by New York, on May 13 is reported to have reached one million unique visitors within 29 days of the launch.
What about the rest of the publishing world? According to FIPP’s World Magazine Trends 2013/14, the prediction for 2014 is that the print editions of newspapers and magazines will continue to contract with between 2-3 percent annually. The report furthermore predicts that mobile advertising will be the fastest growing internet channel with an expected quarter of all internet ad expenditure used on mobile advertising by 2015.
According to the 2014 B-to-B CEO Survey, print advertising still accounted for the biggest portion (52.5 percent) of total revenue in 2013. More than 25 percent of the CEOs that responded said that they would be enlarging the digital media staff of their companies in 2014. More than two-thirds of the CEOs that responded stated that they have launched a responsive design site or a dedicated mobile site, or both, last year. Now, many are asking if New York Magazine’s new vertical Science of Us is a sign of things to come.
Market research firm eMarketer reported that close to 60 percent of digital marketing budgets will be spent on direct response campaigns with about a third of the total spend going toward campaigns focused on mobile devices. In a survey conducted by the Indiana University School of Journalism, more than 60 percent of the journalists that were polled say that their newsrooms have shrunk in the last year and that further reductions in staff were expected.
The majority of the surveys and reports seem to agree that the biggest growth in advertising spent will be on mobile advertising. Publishers are investing more money on interactive online sites and dedicated mobile sites than in print media, and this trend is set to continue. However, with the majority of advertising still being generated by print advertising, print is a long way from dead.
There is a clear move towards the digital publishing environment with more focus being placed on online publications and the online presence of publications. Companies are increasingly combining the print and digital portions of the business and journalists are expected to be proficient in both disciplines. There is, however, no reason why print and digital publications cannot both survive and complement each other, as the success of New York’s new vertical, Science of Us, showcases.
The reality is that audiences will most probably see the print industry slowly becoming smaller while digital publications will continue to grow. The use of mobile devices and smartphones to access online data has experienced massive growth, and more people are using mobile devices to access the internet today than ever before. Is New York Magazine’s vertical Science of Us a sign of things to come? One thing is for sure: this trend will impact print media and readers are sure to witness some changes in the industry in the future.
By: Rebecca Savastio