An international panel of renowned journalists (among them Olivier Royant of Paris Match or Christoph Amend of Zeit Magazin) gather at the Monocle Summit to share their thoughts on the current state of print, publishing in general and journalism. Tyler Brûlé, Monocle’s founder and editor-in-chief, and his staff host the conference on January 2, 2017 in London.
”People have been asking ’is print dead?‘ for almost two decades now. It’s getting a bit old. … If I look at our five year business plan right now, there’s nothing which removes the printed issue of Monocle from the core, not just as the spiritual home of the brand, but I think also as the big money maker. It is still where the core profit for our business resides“, says Tyler Brûlé in an interview he gives me in the beginning of 2016.
Earlier this year, he and his staff host the Monocle Media Summit in London. Given his quote, its motto comes as no surprise:
”Enough now! Print is not dead.“
You can see the evidence at every newsstand. Not all titles might be commercially successful but just as TV never managed to kill the radio, print and online seem to be finding a way to coexist.
Editor-in-chief of German Zeit Magazin Christoph Amend and Monocle’s Tyler Brûlé
More and more titles keep popping up and, in fashion, print seems to be as relevant as ever – at least that is what fashion brands’ PR agents seem to think when you observe how they still favour print over online. Freebies for influencers aside, you’ll have a harder time getting samples for an editorial shoot that is for online only, than for a classic spread in a printed publication.
Mandie Bienek of Press Factory, first and oldest fashion PR agency in Berlin, tells me in an interview earlier this year:
”From my observations, when I take a look at the under 20 years olds, there will be two relevant directions in publishing: On the one hand, print that has a certain quality, that may become a collectible, a magazine as a coffee table book, publications that stand out and are different, are brave, stand for something; on the other hand, there will be all the 24 hour real-time online channels that will feed us news in all kind of fields, obviously also fashion.“
The magazine is the hub, it is what connects all the channels. Granted, for many the question still is, how to keep up the revenue stream that everybody is used to from the old days. A lot of fashion and lifestyle books are being kept alive artificially by investors from other industries who buy themselves into the world of glamour. But then, „Culture cannot always be profitable, it always needed support“, says photographer Christop Mack.
So, according to the panel at the Monocle Summit, where is print going? Spoiler: Although it is being established that print is still alive, no concrete recipes are given on how to keep it alive financially while revenue streams are shifting to digital. However, valuable insights are discussed that will show what a good publication is made of in the 21st century.