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Outsell panel: Print morphing into ‘specialized’ medium

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Leesburg, Va.—Despite the ongoing migration of both readers and advertisers to the Web, print products will still have a place in the digital age, according to a panel of media research executives gathered at Outsell’s annual Go! Conference.

While there have been numerous Web sites that grew out of print products, the future most likely will bring a reverse trend, according to the panelists. “Print can be a legitimate spinoff from the Web and can be customized for a particular audience and its subgroups,” said David Worlock, chief research fellow at Electronic Publishing Services, which is owned by Outsell. “Print will become much more specialized.”

Chuck Richard, VP and lead analyst at Outsell, said, “Print will not die,” and pointed to several print publications that have been created by IT media company TechTarget.

Media companies, Richard said, need to do a much better job in tracking their readers and decide which medium is most suitable for them. “We’re in the age of the ‘attention economy,’ ” he said. “Everybody is scattered, and you have to do everything possible to get your audiences and advertisers.”

Ken Doctor, an affiliate analyst at Outsell, added: “What works best online doesn’t works in print” and vice versa. “But don’t go crazy and just start to flip from one medium to another.”

—Matthew Schwartz

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