I have argued that the print magazine and newspaper publishing industries have been unfairly labeled with a “print is dead” story when in fact the declines in print circulation and advertising have been the result of the popping of the print bubble. I have asserted that rather than declining to zero over time, the enduring qualities of print, to readers and to advertisers, will support a new level of a stable printed magazine and newspaper industry after the “bubble levels” of circulation are worked out.
Now, there is more evidence of those values that print delivers; values that readers and advertisers are, and will continue to be, willing to pay for. Dr. Samir Husni, “Mr. Magazine,” called my attention to this research. Doctor Husni has been carrying a torch for print for quite some time. He recently reported on a global tour of media conferences when he said; “Study after study is showing what print can deliver to advertisers and to readers at the same time. The return on the investment is great for both customers.”
Now Dr. Robert Magee, assistant professor at Virginia Tech State University, “opted to take a scientific approach to this debate in an attempt to reach a definitive answer.”
The research, which is available here, shows that “In a field experiment, subscribers of a promotional magazine received either a print version of the magazine or an e-mail invitation that linked to the online version. The print version had a higher open rate than did the online version. In addition, print readers had higher recall memory and engaged in more browsing. Ironically, although younger readers indicated a preference for receiving an online version, the effect of medium on memory performance was strongest among the younger readers.”