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April 4, 2007 / Toby Dayton

Why Print Still Matters (And Will For A Long, Long Time)

Parks Associates released a study yesterday, its National Technology Scan, which detailed findings that 29% of all U.S. households do not have internet access and have no intention to hook up to the web in the next 12 months. So despite the fact that broadband penetration is climbing (from 42% to 52% in 2006), 31 million homes in the U.S. will have no access to the web in their homes. And while cost is an issue for 22% of these households, either because they cannot afford a computer and/or the monthly service fees, 44% claim to be uninterested in anything they might find on the web. For at least some of this segment of the nation (how large I have no idea), print media remains an important component of their media consumption. (being a media junkie, I cannot even fathom the possibility that these people would choose to consume no media at all). Unfortunately from a marketer’s perspective, what conceivable appeal can this group of consumers have if they can think of nothing interesting to find on the web? At any rate, the fact remains that people still consume media through multiple channels and will continue to do so for a long, long time.

Time to read the daily newspaper this mornin: 8 minutes and 13 seconds.

Daily recommendation for the dailies: Two small nitpicks today, but aggravating nevertheless. My Sunday paper this weekend again had multiple copies of the same section and was missing other sections. And yesterday, the TV guide in the ‘Source’ section had all the stations cut off, making it not only a worthless page of content, but annoying as well. When you cut headcount, eliminate people in the newsroom, reduce quality, and start peeling away specific components of your value proposition, the few pieces that remain become that much more important. They therefore need to be executed flawlessly. So please stop making careless mistakes in the product you deliver to your readers.

[tags]Internet In U.S. Households, Daily Newspapers, Publishing, Print Matters[/tags]

One Comment

  1. Gunnar / Apr 4 2007 1:29 pm

    Print is a good distribution medium for certain types of data. It will be interesting to see how this evolves. John Hagel states that all companies will unbundle into three distinct categories:

    Customer relationship enterprises: excellence in customer interaction management, customer intelligence

    Innovation enterprises

    Infrastructure: low transaction costs, high volume, and so on

    Going forward, print probably is best seen as a specialized type of cutomer relationship enterprise

    Back to Hagel, he has a notion of Community 2.0, based on a pull approach instead of push. Print is the archetypal Community 1.0 and push approach. Doesn’t mean they cannot adapt, just means it has to.

    The focus needs to be holistic, get improved return on attention and return on information. Stop being threatened by bloggers, or suicidally try to charge for your service like the NYT, and instead plug into the community. When Britt Robson does a 10x better job covering the Timberwolves for free on the web (first at City PAges now at the Rake), the Strib should not mock blogging, but instead like the heck out of the guy

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