The way people consume information has been rapidly changing over the last years. Print media like magazines, books, and newspapers have been drastically affected by the digitalization of our world.
As consumers, we need to find the fastest, simplest way to learn and be entertained, and we require targeted content that fits our interests and behaviors.
Think about taking the bus in the 1990’s. Freshly-printed newspapers flowed around the seats with their ink still being hot. Now think about the last time you stepped on that same bus. This time, newspapers were nowhere to be found. They had been replaced. Everyone was looking down at their mobile screen instead.
Everything has changed, but nothing has really changed. We still need information. We still need to know what is going on in the world around us. We still need to be entertained.
And it comes as no surprise. The mobile phones offer an unlimited source of knowledge at our fingertips. We are no longer limited to reading about one specific topic or from one certain perspective. The internet has democratized information, and it can all be reached from a device that fits in our pockets.
This change has been so dramatic that many older and more mature industries have been impacted by it – both positively and negatively.
As printed newspapers and magazine sales continue to decline, their digital counterparts are enjoying the consequential growth. According to the Brand Audience Report from MPA, magazine media audiences on mobile increased by 17% year-to-year over May 2017 and 2018. After analyzing 119 magazine brands, MPA also concluded that over 65% of them are experiencing growth of their mobile audiences.
Many magazine brands have identified this trend and are already taking steps towards it. Rolling Stone, between others, is already revamping their mobile version in order to capture a bigger market share of this audience.
Businesses, including magazine brands, are discovering that friction is the biggest rock in the path between them and their potential consumers.
We can see examples of friction-minimization all around us. You do not want to type what you want to buy off Amazon? You can just say it out loud to Alexa. Is the book you are reading too heavy to carry it around? Buy it as an e-book and read it from anywhere. Even one extra second of loading time for your website will greatly increase its bounce-rate.
It’s understandable that printed media has become too big of a friction for newer generations. Why go to the store and buy Time Magazine or People when you can read it off the internet? Furthermore, why even read it off your heavy laptop when you can just have it on your phone?
Businesses need to adapt to this movement towards simpler, faster ways of consuming information. Websites need to be optimized for mobile, content needs to be crafted accordingly, and audiences need to be emphasized in order to create the best customer experience.
Marti writes about digital marketing and entrepreneurship. Find him with coffee and a laptop while traveling back and forth between Barcelona and Charlotte. Connect with him on LinkedIn.