Or, an extension to that question: What happened to print media?
Think about the last time you received a magazine in the mail. Ah, the anticipation! The joy! In middle school, I would see my mom light up when she got her monthly “Midwest Living,” and I would always look forward to the “Seventeen” magazine that I am sad to admit I subscribed to more for than a year of my life.
It is kind of fun to get snail mail. But now, people look online for that same information, whether it’s informative or for entertainment.
But, nowadays, readers aren’t keen on spending money for the love advice in the Seventeen column, and many people look to the Internet for the same information. Magazines are desperate to get print subscribers. Seventeen is now offering its product just $12 for a 2-year subscription. This is a drastic decrease from the prices in the early 1990s, when subscriptions were $30 and sometimes $40 for just one year.
So, what happened? I think we all know the answer to this.
The Internet is so convenient. I don’t remember a time when a question was posed in a conversation, I couldn’t remember the answer and said, “eh, forget about it.” Instead, we all pull out our phones, type in the search bar and receive instant gratification.
And, as I’m sure everyone knows from experience, the Internet is also convenient for distractions. I find myself browsing about topics that I would have never cared to learn about when I’m procrastinating homework. For example, tonight I read about Tesla’s new model of car, something I would never be interested in. But, a friend on Facebook mentioned it, and I became intrigued.
This brings me to my next point: social media has made online content extremely sharable in the last five years. It’s easy to see information go “viral” because the content is agreeable between a group of people. Which means, articles are more accessible to more people, leading more people to read them.
In short, the demographic has changed for all publications from a small group of very loyal customers to a wide variety of not loyal customers. The loyal customers now have the site bookmarked, and all other viewers simply reach articles from a referral site, like Facebook or Twitter.
When people want to be informed about a topic, they refer to the Internet. It’s the easiest way to understand the basics of a topic, and through that research, they will stumble upon various forms of online media. As my Internet Marketing professor would reiterate: People are lazy.