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Buzz Worthy Print Beats Digital in Influence
By David Pilcher

(Editor's Note: As appeared in the Freeport Press Weekly Newsletter of March 9, 2014)

Is it possible that print magazines have more clout than their digital counterparts? Oh yes. A new study finds that print still ranks highest when it comes to generating word-of-mouth buzz. How is that possible, with so many of us relentlessly sharing everything under the sun on social media? The numbers don’t lie.


According to new research from IPC Media, “Print still leads the way in generating word of mouth buzz, with 64% indicating they have shared from print brands and 52% shared from both digital editions and apps. Just under half, 49% shared from the internet and 36% from social media channels.”

And that’s not all just talk either. While word of mouth is great, print has the largest influence on actual sales, says IPC.

“Print had the most amount of influence over actual purchase from a shop or online, with 45% of respondents indicating print had inspired a purchase, compared with 40% who indicated that digital editions motivated them to buy, 38% for apps and 34% from the web,” the article continues.

This research clearly busts open the myth that digital platforms are killing print magazines. This blows it pretty much away, in fact.

The study was based on the magazine habits of 3,500 readers across print and digital magazine platforms, and found the deepest engagement, the most sharing, the highest word of mouth and the most influence on purchase was generated by print.

We’ve written before on the beauty of print, the tactile sensation of print magazines, and the proven brand influence print has on readers. We’ve talked about the effectiveness of a print magazine as part of your overall marketing and communications plan, and the brain’s response when engaged in print.

All of this hard science and research boils down to one key idea: Print sells.

There is perhaps no more interesting time to be in publishing than right now. With a new crop of independent publishers coming to market with niche publications, digital brands launching print magazines, and a rebirth of the old standards roaring back to life, the magazine industry is showing its colors in astonishing arrays of creativity backed by solid business sense.There couldn’t be a better time to print.

This article originally appeared in the Freeport Press Weekly Newsletter of March 9, 2014, www.freeportpress.com.


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