How print is thriving in a digital world: FIPP, UPM

Successful magazine publishers recognise that digital platforms play a different role to print publications, and print should remain the carefully curated hero of a magazine brand.

UPM and FIPP have published a whitepaper that looks at how print continues to add value to publishers in a digital world. 

The paper, titled The future of media: how digital-to-print revenue models continue to shape the industry cites statistics demonstrating the strength of print magazines: 

  • 58 per cent of subscribers still describe themselves as primarily print-oriented;
  • 60-80 per cent of publisher revenues are still generated from print;
  • In the US, the top 25 print magazines reach more adults and teens than the top 25 prime time shows; and, 
  • In the UK in 2017, 24.6 million UK adults were reading news brands daily, and 36 million were reading magazines monthly

“Far from ‘surviving’, there are examples from all around the world of print thriving,” says whitepaper author Jon Watkins, a content marketing and media consultant. 

“For many publishers, the question is not ‘print or digital?’ It is ‘What role does print play in the print, digital and experiential – a mix that allows us to maximise audience engagement, cross-selling and revenue generation?’”

Watkins states that the resilience of print comes from its ability to fit in with and alongside digital platforms. 

“Successful magazines have reinvented themselves as brands that serve their audience via a range of channels, of which print is just one. This started with the same content being made available in print, online and – later – on mobile.” 

“Now, of course, multichannel means differentiating content to allow each channel to play to its strengths.” 

Jon Watkins, author, The future of media: how digital-to-print revenue models continue to shape the industry

US publisher Hearst Magazine President Troy Young explains the importance of print content within the whitepaper.  

“Print is heavily edited and curated and it’s like an event that happens once a month. And there’s something really wonderful about that,” he says. 

“And it’s a lean-back experience that I think gives a consumer a break from the intensity of the digital world… Increasingly…people are going to look for that. 

“So, print plays a really important role in saying this is important and this has a place in culture, and take a moment to think and read about this and consume it. And I think our magazines are going to play an important role in how we do that for a long, long time.”

FIPP is an international member organisation for content producers. The UPM and FIPP whitepaper on how print is thriving in a digital world can be downloaded here.

Written by Lyndsie Clark

Targeted Media Services Network Founder and Editor Lyndsie Clark has over 12 years of niche publishing experience, working in a variety of roles spanning B2B editorial, sales, operations, events, BD, and management.


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  1. Hi Lyndsie, you have put in a lot of effort into sharing this great resourceful article. I completely agree with the statement made in the article on how digital platforms are different from the print publications. Keep sharing!!

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