Google and Apple force print media to evolve?

From Print Media To Product Media?

Technology trends and news by Dan Verhaeghe
March 14, 2011
Short URL:

The digital age has said to have killed off most print media companies that relied on the sale of their daily newspaper, weekly magazine or monthly publication for their main source of revenue. The more subscriptions they had, the bigger advertising dollars they could garner.

Newspaper circulation is declining in ways the world has never seen with the advent of the tablet and content-driven mobile and tablet apps.

Smart print media companies dove into the digital, mobile and tablet spaces early enough so that they could keep their companies alive in the face of declining profits. They could charge a small fee for download and make money off mobile advertising networks.

The open written word of the Internet kept expanding though, and former print media companies were forced to expand well beyond their traditional means where they had to report on more news than they ever had.

Few print media companies were able to constantly revolutionize for 15 years since the invention of the website and survive in a digital age, so we have a mix of media companies, bloggers, and social media mavens.

As content moves towards smartphones and tablets, new media opportunities are presenting themselves.

Apple and Google have announced that they will tax content-driven mobile and tablet apps. Apple has reported a figure as high as 60%, forcing consumers to pay for content.

So once again, print media will have to look for different, creative ways to survive as the consumer has become used to getting content for free. The app world is too cluttered, with too many publications and a split readership while people have too many apps to choose from. Between Google and Apple there are over 500,000 apps alone. There are hundreds of millions of blogs on the Internet.

Apps are just one of the first forms of mobile media though, a term rarely used for the only applications of mobile we’ve ever known are text messaging, the rarely used multimedia messaging and apps.

A new form of mobile media known as the 2D barcode, most popularly known as the QR Code has seen an attempt by traditional media companies to turn print digital.

However, newspaper and magazine subscriber rates continue to decline, and the younger generation turns even more digital and tech-savvy.

A logical solution for print media companies is to turn to products to reach the smartphone and tablet user through direct mail or giveaways using QR Codes.

Promotional products happen to be a bit of a hidden gem in the marketing world, a surprising 22-billion dollar industry, and with the ability to print QR Codes on products and send them through direct mail to a generation that is fascinated by receiving mail and giveaways because we’ve been online accessing email, social media, and writing content our whole lives. Millennials rarely get anything physical in nature from companies.

Most of the millennial generation has a smartphone or tablet capable of scanning the QR code to access the content.

The Millennials, born between 1981 and 1999, are starting to make a tremendous impact in the world. The recent chaos in the Middle East was caused by social media, and powered by mobile devices, tablets, computers, laptops and just about anything that connects to the Internet because the power of the written word could not be stopped.

An initiative like upgrading from print to product would also save a print media company in printing costs, delivery costs for daily newspaper publications with the surging price of oil, and do environmental good by saving paper. Although the cost may be replaced by the products, and even though one might argue that it would increase, the sustainability of a profitable media corporation is the major issue at stake. As the industry has seen over the last fifteen years, the harsh reality is innovate or perish.

Apple and Google would not be able to take away the power of the written word because products can deliver it the most direct and impactful way possible to a millennial generation that has to be marketed to as directly as possible.

A swift marketer could also deliver content with a promotional product via an embedded Bluetooth Chip that sends SMS via proximity marketing for older generations that have not adapted to new smartphone technology.

The latter is why QR Codes and other forms of mobile media are some of the hottest trends in the marketing world currently, because they bridge the gap between the offline and online worlds and impact the consumer directly and locally.

Mobile media is the eventual bridge of all traditional advertising to digital, mobile, tablets, and last but not least, products.

As a result, mobile media is also the beginning of product media.

Originally posted on

Related companies, investors and entrepreneurs

McLoughlin Promotions
Description: At McLoughlin, we look at corporate branded merchandise as an opportunity to garner the attention your brand deserves. Our approach fo...

Related news