Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Traditional publishing: RIP

Actually, let's see it more as a period of adjustment. Painful adjustment. We've all heard the argument: just as cinema didn't kill theatre and TV didn't kill radio, online won't kill print. Let's hope the lessons of history hold true.

Hugely valuable though, whatever the truth might prove to be, to see that a new site - Traditional Publishing Rest In Peace - is aggregating stories about closures and cutbacks in trad media. Someone had to do it.

Is there some pattern here? Are we just seeing the trad media equivalents of Woolworths and MFI - dinosaurs that failed to adapt - dying out? Too early to tell, I'd say, but the RIP site will help us decide.

It's aggregated links help us focus on what is happening.

The Telegraph's media editor says of the regional press: "Local newspaper advertising, dominated by property and motoring, has plummeted, not to mention the fact that regional newspaper groups have been slow to implement digital strategies."

Media Week charts the decline in magazines but forcasts: "If independent publishers are serving a niche, they will just scrape by."

Clearly magazines are suffering no less than newspapers. Ad pages have dropped 10 per cent and launches by 13 per cent.

According to Blogging Stocks: "Magazine publishers may have made the same mistake that newspapers did--they moved content to the web too late and did not staff up their online businesses fast enough."

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