The End of Publishing

It’s here…

The biggest surprise in this Ipsos Study, as reported by AD AGE, isn’t that magazine readership has fallen off a cliff — which it has.

It’s that an income of $100,000 makes us “affluent.” Please tell that to my 401K Plan.

Or maybe it should be that anyone is actually making $100,000 in this economy.

Look, its been clear for some time now that publishing — print editions of anything — is an endangered species.

Newspapers and news weeklies (TIME, NEWSWEEK) are over. As we’ve noted before, why would anyone wait to read yesterday’s news tomorrow? The only hope news publishing has is their opinion pieces. I’ll pay to read Tom Friedman and David Brooks, but I’d rather do it online.

I love books.

I always have.

I love the feel of books in my hand. I love the way they look in my study.

I will probably be among the very last people to stop buying printed books.

And when someone like Seth Godin says he is through publishing books, the end of printed books is probably in sight too.

Apple’s iPad probably signals the impending death of magazines, because reading a magazine on the iPad is simply a better experience than reading a printed magazine. That’s where the Ipsos Survey comes in.

“Affluent” people are more apt to buy new gadgets like the iPad, and once they see how great O, The Oprah Magazine is on an iPad, why would they ever renew their print subscription?

It’s important to note that the death of the printed version of publications does not autmomatically mean the death of those publications. The best will become even better in their new media format, and fans may actually be willing to pay more to read them in this new, interactive way.

And, I don’t think the demise of print and publishing signals the inevitable demise of Radio IF we can adapt.

Survival is always about adaptation. As Charles Darwin said…

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.

It’s up to us to deliver a listening experience on our radio stations that Pandora cannot duplicate. We control that.

Not Steve Jobs.

At least, not yet.

So we can’t claim we were blind-sided, like newspapers, magazines and books.

This is the topic that should dominate the NAB Convention in a couple of weeks. This is the topic that should dominate every radio company’s executive meetings.

This is on us, on our species…

So, who’s up for the challenge?