The irony of running a “print is back” article during an ongoing paper shortage isn’t lost on us. But despite paper supply challenges, print is showing signs of expansion. Chalk it up to the resiliency of the written word or the determination of print publishers, but the word on the street is: Watch for a print resurgence in the coming years.
Industry insiders say, “Buy print!”
Content marketing authority and entrepreneur Joe Pulizzi says, “Watch for a number of large brands to launch targeted print magazines.” He suggests people are sick of their digital devices, which spells opportunity for publishers to capitalize on the nondigital, more tactile space where printed publications reside.
This makes a certain amount of sense, particularly since the shift to remote work ties most of us to our digital devices for long hours at home. Remote work burnout hit 69% of the U.S. population last year — driven in large part by digital interaction overload. During the pandemic, 61% of remote workers reported experiencing trouble unplugging.
Perhaps this is why only 8% of publishers say their revenues declined in 2022. According to Pulizzi, “People are looking to disconnect from their devices … If you have the means, thinking print may be an opportunity.” We’re watching for large brands to introduce print products this year, particularly as the paper shortages from 2021 begin to rebound.
What do the numbers say?
The numbers show a rising tide ready to float the print boat. The data reports 86% of consumers favor print over digital, and 63% view print news as more trustworthy and able to provide a deeper understanding of current events.
Then there are the stats supporting Pulizzi’s claim that we’re burning out on digital in favor of print. The data shows 92% of 18- to 23-year-olds say print is easier to read than digital. When even the digital generation is suffering from digital fatigue, publishers should move to produce new print publications.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported on big retailers creating buzz by releasing traditional print catalogs — and seeing sales grow as a result. Big brand names include:
- Restoration Hardware
According to Retail Dive, marketers seeking a truly omnichannel customer experience are now dividing spend between print and digital. It’s another statistical indicator of print’s persistent resilience.
What factors predict a print resurgence?
Print was making a comeback before the pandemic. The assumption is that younger populations consume more digital content than their elders, possibly because there’s more of it to go around. But nowadays, younger generations are consuming almost as much print as their older counterparts.
- Baby Boomers read 9.2 print publications per month.
- Gen Xers read 9.1 print publications per month.
- Millennials read 8.9 print publications per month.
In 2022, several factors indicate a resurgence of print, including:
- Consumer preference
- Higher ROI for advertisers and consumers
- Desire for an in-depth counter to digital news snippets
- Increasing digital fatigue
Neither staffing shortages nor paper supply disruption, it seems, will keep a good print publication down.
Contact your Sheridan or KGL representative for a consultation or visit our contact pages (Sheridan contact page / KGL contact page) to learn how we can help streamline and simplify your publishing processes.