Here’s a fact that people love to disagree with me on; I love to say “Newspapers and magazines are going away.” It might not be in four years, but certainly they will be gone in seven. Yes, that’s right, maybe by 2018 and certainly by 2021 you won’t be able to read The Chicago Tribune or Wall Street Journal in paper form anyway over your morning coffee. Nor will you be able to sit by the pool reading a paper People Magazine. It doesn’t matter how much you love it! Heresy you declare? I say don’t shoot the messenger.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned it’s that the majority of people think about tomorrow based on their experiences of the past. If you grew up with the world existing one way it’s hard, if not impossible, to imagine it existing another way. If you have been reading the morning paper over a cup of Joe for the last twenty years, you naturally assume you will be for the next twenty. As for the fact that it costs 80% less to deliver you the news electronically, not to mention faster and often with multi-media functions, it matters not. You still prefer reading your printed paper. Until you don’t or eventually can’t. Because less people today are consuming their news, or anything for that matter, by the printed word than were a year ago. Anyone want to bet me that 2015 is not going to continue that trend? How about 2016?
Newspapers and magazines won’t go away of course, they will just evolve. You will read them on your laptop, your iPad or your smart phone. You might even read most of your news by author by tweet. If you don’t know what a tweet is you’re probably still reading a paper delivered to your door. By the way the majority of the expense of that paper is not in the paper or even the money the journalist makes to deliver you the news but rather the fuel expense to get the printed word to your house! Guess how much fuel is spent to push the send button?
Despite these facts, that it costs 80% less, is often multi-dimensional in its offering and has an irreversible trajectory in terms of readers. (Do young kids buy paper anything?!) Many people tell me I’m crazy to say newspapers and magazines will be gone sooner rather than later. My only question to them in reply is “When’s the last time you bought a CD?”