When CD-ROM and electronic publishing started to take a position on the media market in the beginning of the nineties of 20th century, forecasts for the future of printed media were contradictory. Many technologists, excited by the possibilities the new media offers would replace books and magazines. Paper consumption has, however, still continued to grow steadily, and printing press manufacturers are well booked, which means that printers still believe in a futhure for the conventional products.
The media market is growing
The information flow from producer to consumer can be divided into two groups. On one hand there is the information that the consumer actively looks for. Such information is mainly news or professional information, but in some cases the consumer also reads advertisements actively, for instance qualified ads.
The other type of information is the commercial information the producer wants to bring to the consumer, to draw the consumers attention. This information needs pictures, colour and, if possible, sound to be noticed by the consumers. it is, however, the consumer who choose media, and his choice depends on what type of information he wants to receive.
It is a fact that the media market has been growing, and forecasts show that the growth will continue, people’s spare time has increased, which also leads to more time to spend with printed and electonic media. There are today personal computers in many homes, and an increasing part of them are also connected to internet. Making this technical development in telecommunications available for a growing part of the polulation is a good ground for dramatic growth in the information flow.
The growing supply in the media market happens basically in electronic media. As a consequence of new satellites and introduction of digital TV the number of available TV channels will continue to grow steadily. Though people use more time for watching TV, the number of TV channels has been growing faster. This means that the average number of viewers for each channel is decreasing, and the fight for viewers is going to be hard.
The interesting question is how conventional printing can keep its positions when electronic media grow. When TV channels fight for viewers and the average number of viewers decrease, it loses its strength as advertising media. Printed media, especially special interest magazines hit their target groups very well. As the magazine reader chooses the product according to his own interests, it means that the adventisements hit their targets with good precision.
Present forecasts tend to predict continuous growth also for printed media though the main growth will happen in electronic media. This means that the market share for printed media will continue to decrease though the absolute volumes will grow.
To be continues…..