Will the print industry ever die?

The discussion revolving around the print industry seems to be an everlasting one. Printing has been around for a long number of years and one must admit, it would be very difficult to imagine a world where it would cease to exist. 

New technologies which have shifted a lot of things online do threaten the need and existence of printing. With that said, we still do need and use it till this very day.

It is no secret that the marketing investment directed at printing has decreased over the past years. The reason for this is because marketers today have an infinite array of channels to use for promotion, most of them being online and may tend to capture the attention of viewers more than printed material. Ever since the progression and development of social media, printing has taken a hit because people’s behaviour has shifted more to online channels rather than printed collateral. One must also mention that companies have now shifted traditional printed material to online formats. Take a printed newsletter for example. Companies can easily distribute a newsletter via email, costing less rather than to deliver it to one’s postal address. People may more likely read the newsletter from their email rather than if they received it in their physical mailbox. 

On the other hand, there are some forms of printed advertising which are difficult to replicate online. Take a billboard as an example. The size and visibility achieved by a billboard, especially when considering the number of cars that roam the streets of Malta cannot be easily replaced by anything provided online. So there is still some value in that.

One other issue where printing suffers against online channels is that digital media provide metrics which can indicate the success or lack thereof of a campaign. With printed media, it is very difficult to measure the impact and return on investment, making it hard to justify hefty spending.

The same can be said for books. People today have the option of reading books online via a kindle or else by downloading soft copies. This allows people more convenience as they do not need to visit the book store. With that said, some argue that there is still value in holding the actual physical book and that it is far more relaxing than reading online. 

What is your view on the future of the printing industry? Will it still be with us in the long-term? Let us know in the comments section below.

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