Digital Transformation

Will print media experience a comeback?

Book and print magazine sales are up, says Chris Mohney, but it's the trend is only a novelty.

Chris Mohney and TechRepublic's Dan Patterson wonder if the print media experience is on its way back. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.

Dan Patterson: There is, again, hyperbolic conversation about, "Oh, the web is dead, everybody go back to print." That's not going to happen. But what do you think is driving this desire? We see bookstores are up, sometimes, with particular magazines, print sales are up, or at least, just like your magazine, we see nice high-quality paper-stock and a glossy cover. What do you think is driving this desire for analog media?

Chris Mohney: I would say it's mostly novelty. Not to denigrate what's being done there, my work or other work. In addition to it being novel, to not to have sort of a print experience, a real-world experience so to speak, it's also much cheaper than it ever was. I mean, oddly, the industry, the printing industry, and then all the paper making things, like went through a die-off even worse than advertising in the last 20 years, and they've consolidated radically.

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Even since the last time I was working in print, almost all the vendors I knew have all disappeared, and merged into one conglomerate. And the prices are lower than they've ever been. I mean, the kinds of prices we used to have to pay to print a color magazine, we would be hunting for vendors in Asia, and paying like, exorbitance in fees to ship things just to avoid the color fees, and the printing feels, and the paper mills, and everything that were in the US.

Now, it's much more manageable. I mean, I think that there's fewer players buying certainly, but there's fewer people making it. The supply has just contracted dramatically, and as far as it being something that represents a new flowering of the print market, no. That's not it at all. But it's kind of nice. I have sentimental attachments, but I also had so many times where I was just tearing my hair out over working in print that I view it with mixed sentiments.

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About Dan Patterson

Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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