9 January 2015

Is The Death of Fashion Print Imminent?

They say that with the rise of the internet and social media, print is a dying industry. Social media campaigns and online advertising act as a cost-effective method that many a company is utilising, and has utilised for a while now instead of the lucrative print media alternative. The internet holds the advantage that it's relevant in every sense of the word; the information is new and updated regularly with innovative platforms to share information becoming available regularly. Publishers have of course noticed the influence of the internet and jumped on the bandwagon as many magazines now have their own website as well as online and tablet versions of their publication. This now allows them to compete and create an online presence as well as hold their magazine as a USP and form of further communication, succeeding efforts of online-only competitors.

Fashion magazines still stand as a method of communication favoured by many. They feature as decorative coffee table pieces or if you're like me, you might have a large bookcase dedicated solely to magazines that you can reflect on when necessary, or rip pages out to stick all over your walls. Magazines are also a more comfortable read and a heightened level of engagement than an online article, which leads the reader to remember the information more easily. They're considered a more legitimate source of information by many so often hold a loyal readership of people who buy into and trust the genuine nature of the articles.

Producing a magazine is a long process which requires the involvement of a lot of people. From editors and graphic designers, to printers and shippers - the people chosen from the never-ending pool involved are often specialists in their field, which doesn't help in terms of expenditure. The mentioned extensive period of time required to produce a magazine is unsettling as in this time, information printed may become out-of-date, so editors need to frantically work ahead of time and quite literally predict the future to ensure that printed information is valid.

PR and advertising in publications is where the money comes from and forms the structure of a magazine. Your tranquil flick through your favourite magazine can often leave you having to force yourself to try and find some editorial content somewhere in the sea of advertisements. You finally find the articles and even then, their content is often obviously the result of extensive PR and product endorsements. Editorials hold an authenticity in the eye of the reader, however they they still contain product placement due to the lucrative sums offered by companies to have their products featured in the like of Vogue. It's the revenue gained through these methods that allow magazines to survive and influence in challenging times.

Women continue to tightly clutch their publication of choice and highly anticipate its arrival on the newsstands every month. The pure physicality of a magazine is more engaging, personal and familiar than a tablet or online alternative. Print giants need not worry - although online pdf magazines and blogs currently infatuate the fashion industry, physical magazines possesses a permanence that can stand the test of time. The internet is the competition of the present, who knows what hurdles the future will present. My guess is that print media will hobble over said hurdles, not with ease, but with a determination that sees them remain a successful force in the fashion industry.