Nano Bits. When Nano Meets Print.

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Monday, 22 December 2014 | By Gerry Mulvaney


By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing

I have just read an article in Publishing Executive which suggests that web-based media companies are increasingly turning to the printed medium as an extension of their web publishing activities. Now before we all get carried away and say that the days of “print is dead” are over, we need to see what the web based media companies are doing and why they are doing it. The answers could be a good pointer to the way that printed publications can better serve their markets.

Publishing Executive interviewed three different publishing entities serving rock music, science and politics to see what brought them to the conclusion that ink on paper was a complement to their current offerings. The results are fascinating.

Pitchfork media started life on the Internet in 1995 as a blog about up and coming indie rock bands. They had filled a niche ignored by other commentators, but in the intervening period have garnered an audience of around 5 million visitors a month, along with a mobile app, an annual music festival and film website.

In December last year they decided the time was right to launch a quarterly magazine to give their audience something tangible to keep and collect. Although they had used a magazine style on their website and had enhanced it with Internet capability, they did not feel that it gave the sense of longevity of the printed form and so turned to print to deliver it.

Pitchfork magazine in print

Pitchfork in print

Nautilus is a scientific web site which each month explores a different topic. Right from the start in April 2013 they envisaged a printed version, because their readers liked the physical object in their hands so they now take the best received articles in the past three months and combine them with new material for their quarterly magazine.

Right now their challenge is to monetise the content they are publishing and they see a subscription for the printed magazine as an additional revenue stream. They recognise that a short print run distributed through stores and retail is a problem, but of course it is this demand that digital printing, including Nanographic Printing® technology, is attempting to address.

Nautilus magazine in print

Nautilus in print

Politico has been around since 2006 with the aim of providing a fast high quality comment on US politics and government for the political elite in Washington. Their fast paced, breaking news style soon caught on amongst the insiders and influencers and this controlled distribution audience soon proved attractive to advertisers. Last year they launched a monthly printed version which enables them to provide a more in-depth analysis of their web articles.

Politico magazine in print

Politico in print

Magazine Printers, Take Heart

The physical element of ink on paper, coupled with a longer shelf life than the web and the ability to monetise content are features to traditional magazine publishers, but the way that online publishers are coming to print in the same way traditional publishers are going online, suggests that multiple platform content delivery will increasingly be the way forward and magazine printers can take heart from the findings.

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