On iMediaConnection, analyst Rebecca Lieb of the Altimeter Group posts a thoughtful look at what the “decline of print” might mean for media. She points to some of the same reports that we have covered over the last few weeks, such as surveys showing that tablet owners are buying less physical media, and projections that on-line advertising spending will this year surpass that for print advertising for the first time. She also notes that a market is growing for “enhanced” books with multimedia features (though plain text versions of the classics will always be with us).

Marketers, take note. These changes in the written word — how it’s conceived, presented, and experienced — apply to you, too. For a soon to be published research report on content marketing, we recently interviewed 56 marketers, many of them at Fortune 500 companies, about the content channels they’re using. They were asked what’s important now, what channels are diminishing in effectiveness, and where they plan to place more marketing emphasis in both the short and long term future.

Overwhelmingly, these marketers say they’re looking to video in the future (with mobile running a close second). "Visual information" is on the rise overall. What’s on the decline? Articles. Columns. Digital PR. Long-form content. White papers.

Lieb advises that media agencies should start looking at ways to translate otherwise written material to new electronic forms so as not to get left behind by this new digital revolution.

Of course, articles like this are a dime a dozen these days. Everyone is looking forward to a digital future, and telling each other that they should be preparing for it too. It’s funny to see it so much on everyone’s minds—a far cry from a few years ago when e-book fans were grumpy that they couldn’t get publishers to take them seriously.

What will the publishing landscape look like in a few more years? I can’t wait to find out.


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