I could quote Mark Twain…
The conference is designed primarily for print publishers who are trying to enhance their online revenues, be that from tablets, mobile, or just getting online in the first place.
What I found was somewhat surprising. I live in a world where everything is online and printing a publication is deemed a waste of time and money.
While that may be true when it comes to city dailies and certain high tech publications, it’s definitely not a universal truth.
I met countless niche magazine publishers who are doing quite well. One publisher told me he started out online only, but his advertisers and readers requested a print publication. His print publication now accounts for the bulk of his revenue.
There’s no doubt that advertisers still pay a hefty premium for print advertising compared to online advertising. My theory is that they can’t measure print advertising as well as online, so it’s harder for them to draw conclusions on whether or not it’s working for them. If they see a click-through rate of .03% on a banner ad they think it failed, when it reality it might be outperforming print.
There are also still plenty of people who like to sit down with a glossy. That’s especially the case for non-news type publications. It’s possible the feeling of holding a magazine is slowly being replicated on tablets, but magazines “printed” on a tablet can still sell advertising similar to a print magazine.
The start up costs of going print remain high, but it certainly makes business sense much of the time.