Realising that as time moves on it may just be a product of middle age that makes me yearn for the lost elements of youth, it does feel like something of a change is in the air.
I’ve never been one to look back all that often – generally I look forward to what new technology has in store for us and, although I’m not an early adopter, I am certainly in the early mainstream when it comes to adopting new tech.
But if feels like there is the beginnings of a return to non-digital forms of entertainment and media.
Have you noticed it too? (Hang on, are you old like me?)
There are the well documented trends of recent years, such as the resurgence of vinyl records – a phenomenon which is very well explained here by The Conversation. But in isolation perhaps these don’t really add up to much (and vinyl does sound better than mp4 anyway).
But there’s more…
We know all too well the story of decline in traditional print revenues for newspapers and magazines. Yet, as recently reported, Johnston Press had some encouraging print results (‘encouraging’ here meaning ‘flat’) for the first quarter of 2018. This is compounded by a conversation I had yesterday with someone at another big newspaper publisher who suggested print money was pretty buoyant.
The same story reveals that JP’s “regional newspapers had seen an increase [in print advertising] after years of steep declines”. Impressive.
Away from newspapers and records, we are spending more money on live music experiences, Donald Trump’s ‘Trump Bump’ has added considerably to TV news audiences (although my last post about young people and scheduled TV is not showing good news yet). Ofcom’s 2016 Communictions Market Report evidences that one in three UK adults have sought a period of time to actively go offline. This BBC.com article makes a strong case for the link between social media usage and negative effects on our health.
In the microcosm of Bath, there is a really healthy local print market. For years the city has supported two glossy local mags – The Bath Magazine and Bath Life. The latter is so boldly analogue, it doesn’t even have a website.
Perhaps surprisingly, a third magazine has just launched – Circle Journal – which is remarkable in that it sustains a free, ad-supported model within a city which already carries two such magazines but that it is also aimed at young people (‘young’ here meaning 20 to 40 somethings) who, as we understand it, are the ones ditching traditional media. It is also of an extremely high quality in terms of its journalism, its design and its production. Watch out for a future blog post interviewing its Publisher about this unusual success.
I guess we watch and wait to see how this all ‘unfolds’, ha!