Since the rise of digital media, print has struggled to maintain relevancy. With so many different options on how you should view your news and media, it can become confusing fast. Today Tech2U will go over the costs and benefits of media from print to paper.
The main advantage of digital media is its accessibility. Whether you are on your phone, computer, or tablet, the articles will always be there at the click of a button. If you just have a few minutes while waiting in line at the butcher, you can quickly pull up any article and enjoy it. Digital media also has the advantages of using videos, links, and audio to enhance the viewing experience. Without the need to store and throw away large amounts of papers and magazines and the added benefit of accessibility and entertainment, it is easy to understand why digital media has taken such a strong share of the market.
Although digital media has many benefits, there are things that print continues to do better. For starters and perhaps most importantly is cost. Counter intuitively, printed media on average is the same or even less expensive as its counterpart. Even with printing and mailing costs, printed distribution still hits the wallet the least. On top of cost, some magazines feature many large images which when scaled down to phone sizes can lose its intended effect and style. Many people also find that actually having a physical object to hold on to is a much better experience than viewing it on a phone or tablet. The touch of paper and the ability to take it to places you wouldn’t take a phone such as a bathtub give printed media properties that digital can never replace.
So how do you determine if the digital version of your favorite magazine is worthwhile? First you can check if your print subscription includes digital access. Some magazines such as GQ, Wired, Fast Company and Inc. give you digital access with your print subscription. Launch Newsstand or your favorite news app on your phone or tablet and enter your subscription number to see what you can access.
If you are just starting out with digital magazines we recommend a free trial app such as Texture by Next Issue. They offer a free 7 day trial with the option to start at $10 a month after that with access to 160 all you can read magazines. A free alternative is using the Sacramento Public Library website to check out magazines digitally. Another great paid website that we recommend is Zinio which offeres subscriptions from $10-25 a year with the option of purchasing single magazines for $5.. If you are uncertain if Zinio is right for you they also offer a 30 day free trial.
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Man: First magazines, television have seen declining readerships since many people now turn to the internet for news and information. So should you migrate to digital subscriptions? Jason Davis, also known as our expert with Tech 2U is here, to talk about whether or not you should migrate from print to digital media. So what’s the advantage to digital versus print?
Jason: Well, the main advantage is convenience. You have your favorite magazine right there on your phone or tablet and it’s always on hand without having to pack up a big stack of magazines, right? So you save space and you can also read it whenever you have a quick minute, you know, on the bus, on the train or maybe you’re a passenger in a car, pull it up on your phone really easy, and it’s also digital magazines, they embed things like videos, links, and little sound bites that can really bring the article to life.
Man: Bonuses and stuff. So is it more expensive to do your digital magazine than it is to purchase it at the bookstore?
Jason: Well, you think it’ll be cheaper because there’s no mailing or printing cost but it’s usually about the same cost as a print subscription but sometimes they are a little more expensive.
Man: What’s the disadvantage to doing digital against say your newspaper or your magazine?
Jason: Well, some magazines don’t really have a good digital format. They just sort of take picture of the pages and upload it. So you might have to be zooming and like straining the eyes, and the experience is just different. Some people prefer the feel of a magazine just like some people can do the E-books. They have to have the hard cover, you know.
Man: Right, so is it based on individuality? How do you determine if the digital is better for you than the print?
Jason: Well, you really have to try it out and go see what you like. See if you like the interfaces that they’re offering, yeah.
Man: There are apps dedicated to magazines, as you well know. What about for E-books?
Jason: Well, these ones are actually for magazines. There are plenty of apps for E-books like Kindle and things like that. But for the magazines there’s this app, it’s called Texture by Next Issue and it’s all you can read access to over 160 magazines and they cost $10 a month for the monthly subscriptions but if you want premium access to weekly periodicals it’s $15 a month and this one they offer a one-week free trial so you can see if you like the interface and see if you actually read enough magazines to get your money’s worth.
Man: If I want to start sampling digital magazines and what not, how would I go about doing it? You just go to say, Time Magazine’s website and sample and go, “Wow, this kind of format works for me.”
Jason: Right, or a good way is to just go to Texture’s free trial but there’s also another app, it’s called Zinio and they have this thing called the Z-Pass. It’s $5 a month and you get access to three magazines and you can swap out those magazines, you can swap out three different ones. So basically it’s six magazines for $5 a month but the first 30 days of that are free. So you can get six magazines in this first 30-days and see if you like the interface, how it reads on the mobile screen, and just if you’d rather have the digital copy.
Man: Yeah, we’re getting a lot of feedback with our company here in terms of digital being extremely popular. Facebook, people or this new generation seems to be more friendly to the internet than it is to the old school who likes the morning news paper on the step.
Jason: Yeah, we like to begin it anywhere, we like to go on-the-go and you know, it’s just all about convenience but a lot of people do prefer that authentic feel.
Man: Yeah, I do. I like coffee with a newspaper and I read it at 3 o’clock in the morning. Side story, not important. How about app of the week?
Jason: The app of the week this week is called Yousician. So it’s a free app on IOS and Android and if you’ve been itching to learn an instrument this app could help you out. So, it’s sort of like Guitar Hero except use a real instrument. So, you play along and it will listen and guide you through lessons and there’s instant feedback about your accuracy and timing and it also tracks your progress so you can stay motivated. But it’s a free app, right? So you get daily time limits to practice and learn and if you subscribe you can learn an instrument per month for $20 a month or $120 a year.
Man: I like that and the free part is good too?
Jason: Yeah, right.
Man: And you mentioned Guitar Hero.
Man: I’m good.
Jason: Because it’s a fun way to learn.
Man: It is, it is. Jason Davis, thank you so much with Tech 2U. We always appreciate your advice. Amy, over to you.