We see it happening more and more. Print publications move to online versions, they go from monthly to weekly issues, and those who don’t abandon print versions certainly get “skinnier” with every issue. The smaller vendor marketing budgets affect advertising first, and the first area hit by that is print. It’s expensive, difficult to measure, and it will not bring results (e.g. leads) right away, requiring a long-term investment, although it certainly is still a good way to reach the company’s target audience. I personally think that advertising complements PR, and doesn’t compete with it, but, if the company has to spend its limited budget money in one area, it will be PR.
While I still like the feeling of reading a magazine or a newspaper, and I subscribe to a few tech print magazines, as well as some parenting ones, I can’t stop wondering if by the time my toddler and my baby are teenagers, print will become obsolote. Governor Schwarzenegger’s digital textbook initiative certainly seems to take the new generation that way, and it provides undeniable benefits. Maybe that is good news for the storage world as well, both for vendors and IT administrators, because that information has to be stored somehow somewhere by somebody.
As PR pros, we always talk about where print will be in a few years, and while the “old-fashioned” ones want to see it stick around for longer, others are way too involved in the digital, virtual world to care. Time will tell, but, before then, I will continue to read to my children and enjoy the smell of paper books, something that the digital books do not have.
Although, wait, I read the other day that there is a spray out there that gives you the old-book smell while you read your e-books. Interesting idea, but I refuse to think that there is a market for that…