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The Rise of Niche Print Media

You can’t put a website on your coffee table By Abigail Thorpe

“Print media is dead…” we’ve all heard these words repeatedly over the past several years, and in some ways, it’s true. But not all. Yes, large, broad interest magazine and newspaper giants are seeing a steady decline in ad revenue and readership—though they’re a long ways from dead—and the digital age has caused mass disruption in the information industry, causing publishers to rethink how they reach their audiences, but amidst the disheartening news is a very real ray of sunshine.

The disruption of the print media industry has opened up prime space for content readers are looking to read: we’re talking about niche media. Special interest is the fastest growing magazine genre in the U.S., according to Statista, and for good reason. Readers still want to pick up a physical copy of a magazine. You can’t put digital content on a coffee table for visitors to pick up and thumb through, and the aesthetic design side of magazines will always be a draw for readers.

Why, in the midst of print media’s slow, agonizing downslide, is niche print media not only sustaining, but growing? A few main things: focus, understanding of readership, and highly specific content. Niche publications aren’t trying to be all things to all readers, and they have a deeper understanding of their audiences than broad digital analytics can gather.

Niche publications provide a sense of community by focusing on a specific geographic region or topic. As a result, they can provide engaging content that readers seek out, with ads that are less disruptive and more specific. Of course, even niche publications aren’t free from digital. Any successful print media needs a strong digital component that is unique and distinct from the print version—something interactive that readers can engage with.

At the end of the day, there are still many readers out there who want a tangible copy they can count on. A physical magazine has become something of a luxury—a simple enjoyment that makes us slow down, and cuts through the clutter of the digital information world. Like Media knows what it takes to provide content that is relatable, beautiful and community specific—we do it every month. Check out how your business can become a part of the “growing” side of print media.

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