For publishers the age of the coffee table book, design book, resource guides & how to books reached the peak in 2008. As the recession took hold, the building boom tighten and the billions of dollars that had pulsed through the housing sector slowed so to did the lumber mills, paper mills and printing presses. The slowing of the recession then drained the cash flow of publishers and advertisers a like.
Next we find the disruptive technologies that have inflicted so many other industries start settling in the shelter publishing world. The emergence of social networking sites like Houz, Pinterest started building better mouse traps to serve vendors and readers. Traditional media could not even dream of the powers that these start-ups have, developing new forms of media. Imagine if all the photos in magazines and there online equivalent of posts have became clickable fields directing to products, providing ease of ordering and a direct relationship to the vendor. Add in the peer group effect these social media have to amplify and echo the message and at almost no delivery cost and the publishing world gets more shaky.
Next, come the scores and scores of design bloggers. Each of whom have relatively small CPM’s but when multiplied by the vast number of their counterparts become channels of real numbers. Instead of a few national magazines being the able to hold court, the new reality is the world gets filled with congregations of bloggers, pinners and likers. The old court finds it’s editorial voices drowning or diluted by the roar of these new congregations. We see how quickly this past business model can fall a part, in the past two years alone numerous examples of established titles have closed down.
Now we drop in on these new congregations. Over the past two years, more than 2,000 individuals have been signing up one by one to gather for two to three days. At design bloggers gatherings across America, in Salt Lake City, Los Angles, New York these solo bloggers are developing their craft, tighten their vision, and becoming attuned to their own voices. On the horizon will be advertising syndicates getting ready to partner with hundreds of these lone agents.
Returning to the traditional media, these publishers face at least three challenges. Loss of authority, lack of financing and an a obsolete business model. To compete the old guard needs to go deeper into content, develop tools of engagement delivering interactiveness to the viewer and to advertiser. Initiatives requiring expenditures for survival but it may not be enough to keep up with the volume of the new chorus. Stay tuned…