Is printing here to stay in an ever increasing digital world?

September 12, 2009 1 Comment

The shift is happening. More and more people are dishing out their newspaper and magazine subscriptions in favor of its online or digital versions. These could just be the tip of the iceberg of the massive shift from printed content to digital online content. Utility bills have become online statements. Devices like Kindle are making holding a book unfashionable. What could be next?

Wondering why? It is very easy to tell why online content is so attractive to both users and providers. It offers almost limitless amount of content, far-reaching, easily updated, interactive, economical and appears more eco-friendly. We live in times of faster internet connections and shorter attention spans. Users want information they need, the moment they need it. Many affordable gadgets and devices available make digital online content all the more accessible.

This leads us to the question, “Is printing here to stay in an increasingly digital world?”

For now, printed content is fighting to remain relevant. Luckily, there are still people drawn to printed content. Printed content appeal to the senses, creating a connection between the user and the information. Information presented on ink on paper is tangible. Also, technology still has some kinks to iron out to deliver hassle-free digital online content.

Printed content still have a fighting chance, even in the near future. Business transactions, government documents and school paperworks still need a lot of printing. However, the market in which printing-related business operate would grow smaller and smaller. The competition will get much tougher. On the other hand, this will mean that only better printing-related products and services will prosper, leaving out mediocre ones. And that only companies who can creatively deliver to the needs of this limited market will continue to exist.

Printed content needs to remain no matter how limited the extent. Digital online content may need it in the few times that it can’t be accessed.

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One Comments to “Is printing here to stay in an ever increasing digital world?”
  1. Bob says:

    Yes, printed content will remain, no matter what. It will remain a dominant force, for news, media, advertising, education, etc.

    Of course, digital content is at an ever increasing rate, and somewhere down the line, the balance between digital content and hard copy/printed material will equilibriate.

    Both Digital content and Printed Content complement each other. For example, digital pictures – a person may have 200 to 300 photos on a media card, but decide to print 30 to 40 photos, whether at a photo lab or at home using photo media paper. For classrooms – laptops, internet, email are the norm, but handouts, textbooks, and other printed materials are still utilized, and will last for generations to come.

    Many large corporations predicted a paperless society by year 2000, but we are no where near that. Paper consumption is still at an all time high, although the rate of growth has tapered off. Although possibly at its peak, the rate of decline will be a slow process, over many generations to come, before Printed content can even be considered a relic.

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