Noise in the leaf forest

Created by OM Branch
Trade journals Surface Technology Print
Digitization in the trade magazine market: Print circulation and subscriber numbers are falling, albeit to varying degrees (Image: Pixabay)

During discussions at trade fairs and events, one topic comes up again and again that is a topic of lively conversation, and not just in the surface technology industry: What do we think about digitalization and digital media consumption?

Rail passengers may have noticed: At the end of 2022, the printed edition of "DB Mobil" was over, it will only be published digitally. Deutsche Bahn's customer magazine had 1.15 million readers a month - a reach that many print media can now only dream of. Even the high-reach computer magazines, once distributed in print runs of millions, have had to cope with a decline of around 90 percent over the past 20 years, as a glance at the IVW figures reveals. And in January, even Springer Verlag announced its intention to say goodbye to its print business in the future, as it no longer sees any future in the business with printed newspapers such as "Bild" and "Welt".

In the smaller segment of special interest magazines, which also includes surface technology, the train of time is moving at a somewhat more leisurely pace. Here, too, digitization is generally progressing more slowly than in other sectors. Nevertheless, the change is noticeable. Print runs are falling, and the previously magical ten-thousand mark fell last year at the latest. But even more important are the subscriber numbers, i.e. the real regular readers. Here, one can see different developments. The print market leader JOT is still doing quite well with subscription figures of currently around 1,000 copies, showing that there is still a demand. At the big competitor, whose lead color is somewhat reminiscent of withered leaves, the current media data for the period 2022 shows only 331 copies sold, as verified by IVW. The paid circulation shrank from 416 in 2018, i.e. even before Corona, by a good quarter to date. Which is also visible to everyone: Compared to previous years, readers will find a thinned-out magazine, where the formerly popular and now empty ad spaces on the cover pages are filled with self-promotional ads. The trend from print to digital is therefore also tangible in the trade magazine market for printed surface technology titles. Even if digitization is still slower than perhaps elsewhere - let's get there.