Sunday, June 29, 2008

Print Media - its future

Technology has radically altered our news consumption pattern; there a more rumblings of change as tectonic shifts such as bandwidth speed with fiber optics are threatening to bring in more radical changes. Readers who matter, no long connect to traditional media for news or entertainment, which would mean that awareness of what goes around just happens; it may pop up on the phone or on the computer screen or it can be on the google alert list, if not its not relevant at all.

Well what then is the role of the newspaper or rather the print medium? Ephemeral images from Television and the incredulous nature of the internet and the other tech devices makes the consumer find comfort in the solidity of the printed word to form opinions and judgments that are long standing. From this perspective the print medium plays a pivotal role albeit in conjunction with the other medium, this is the reason that in an advertising media mix the role of the print may be a fraction but its used as a thin string to tie all the other media together, similarly the absence of print in an communication plan may not provide the investments with the multiplier effect and the buy button may not get activated without a medium like print that has the potential to provide the credibility.

Somewhere in the intersection of credibility and accessibility lies the future of the print media both to the advertiser and the reader.

The purpose cannot or should not be for gathering eyeballs (circulation increase) it must be only to physically tie up a range of activities. The success of TOI Group was due to its ability to increase and experiment on a large bandwith – right from selling tea (editor's choice) to Times Jobs portal with a Radio Mirchy and Planet M and India Times jostling with each other and the competition to be part of the consumer life and lifestyle.

If content and production have low entry barriers, this would mean that the market will be flooded with a range of print products. The success lies in developing a boot strap model with the ability to constantly re invent at every stage, be discussed in the cocktail circuits with an eye on valuation so that it can be ready to be gobbled up in future at ………….

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