Blog | 12 September 2013

Would you like to see my record collection? (or the journey from print to digital)

Will all content become digital? If future generations are born into a world where the device rather than a book is their first source of content interaction then surely it will come to pass?

Photo Credit: Picolo-kun

A magazine is an iPad that does not work

This video ‘a magazine is an iPad that does not work’  is both amusing and frightening at the same time. A bit like an episode of Britain’s Got Talent, but without giving you the feeling of wanting to die. This puzzles the child, as clearly she has never been read a book by her parents, and other adults she sees always have a small box in their hands which they constantly look at and touch whilst talking to each other.

Aside from the tragedy of never having been able to fully enjoy ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ it does pose the question…

Will all content become digital?

If future generations are born into a world where the device rather than a book is their first source of content interaction then surely it will come to pass?

Will it also follow that traditional media advertising pounds will transfer to digital formats? That unless I can interact with you I won’t be interested in what you have to say? And that print will die? And what of the cultural practice of showing off our intellectual rigour and musical tastes to house guests?

The journey from print to digital

Now, we are in the process of writing a white paper on the evolution of content. We are interviewing the great and the good. From magazine editors, and newspaper publishers, to digital natives and agency directors. The research isn’t yet complete, so I haven’t reached my conclusions but from what I’ve learned so far I think the following statements are enough to start us thinking:

  • If digital becomes the norm then does print becomes a novel distraction for our growing two-year-old?
  • Will print may become a welcome relief when I spend all my time looking at screens?
  • Will we tire of always having content that demands interaction?

And finally, the most important point:

  • If digital equals free in the minds of digital natives, then how will businesses ever create value for their content?

Counter-arguments and forecasts abound but come October and endless interviews and quantitative research we will have nailed it. Probably.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE 2nd June 2014:
The white paper is now available for download – Rock.Paper.Glass – the Evolution of Content.

Alex Marks
Alex Marks
Strategy Consultant

Alex supports the strategic development of River's business and acts as an experienced marketing partner for our client teams. He is a regular commentator, writer and conference speaker on a wide variety of digital,  marketing,  and content strategy issues.