There is a lot of hype and excitement about reading magazines and books electronically. All variety of statistics are being bandied about to support the deluge of digital. Studies are being conducted and consultants are consulting. There is euphoria over electronic reading.
But is it warranted? While digital reading is a tantalizing development and may someday change the way people interact with the written word, that day is not yet here. Consider some stats that I have stumbled upon from the magazine industry:
- One magazine found that 75 percent of readers would not give up their print magazine. That means, the magazine can’t risk going fully digital.
- A survey of magazine publishers over the performance of their digital editions found that 38% were “somewhat dissatisfied” and 22% were “extremely dissatisfied.” That means that among publishers, a full 60% are not happy with digital.
- In another study, 61.5% of magazine publishers aren’t even sure how they can generate enough revenue to cover the costs of digital.
So, based on these stats, the majority of readers don’t want to read digitally, the majority of publishers are not happy with digital, and the majority of publishers don’t even know how they can financially support digital.
Going digital may be exciting, but the numbers are not behind it and the masses don’t support it — at this time.
Given this, shouldn’t the focus be on print?