As digital publishers came together at a panel hosted by OMMA's PUBLISH conference today, trying to desperately figure out how to migrate to a digital landscape, I could not help but wonder.

What if offline publishing properties that are both non-native to the online environment and not time sensitive never migrated to the online world. Would they be better off today from a revenue perspective?

For those publishers that did make the leap (and made many mistakes along the way) do they regret the move? Chances are they would not admit they would "go back to the future".

The delicate balance between the reader and his/her engagement with a publication is likely not interrupted by the absence of a digital version. Many pubs missed the benefit they provide their offline readers .... the benefit of an exclusive interaction that is not available online. Unfortunately they followed the crowd.

This theory would not hold for news sites that are time sensitive. The internet created a "want it now, want it fast" culture that dictates the need for speed. They belong online .... as do native digital brands the likes of eBay, Monster, Huffington Post and Facebook.

As the traditional publishers scrambled to "go digital" with no vision for a sound business model, they gave away their content and are now waging an epic battle for their survival.

Comments welcome.


Unknown said...

Would be interesting to see what would happen if magazines discontinued their online versions and either shut down the website or add content that complements the print version, not overlaps it.

bg said...

The funny this is watching magazines being redesigned to look like web sites - text overload, little boxes everywhere - and their websites trying to look like the magazine - page scrolls, etc. Crazy.

Unknown said...

I agree with bg. I remember back in the 90's when Wired came out. Gave me a headache, so I canceled my free subscription.