Recently I went to a guest lecture featuring TANK magazine, this lecture was intended to be inspirational, however; it left me feeling slightly conflicted in terms of if the market for publishing is becoming weaker in a world where social media is blossoming into new opportunity’s and reliable access anywhere.
TANK create beautiful magazines and they made it very clear their focus is on making something they’re proud of and that looks good rather than focusing on the best way to push the product. The only reason I don’t believe this is because within the powerpoint there was a page with all the ways they have expanded TANK over the years – funnily this is also the page they spent the least amount of time talking about.
As you can see tank have pushed the publication to digital in 2014 creating the fashion scanner and making the magazine have extended properties to fit with the media market online. these are area’s of tank that aren’t readily updated, much like many magazines its hard to be current when you’re playing catch up.
so TANK join the social media platform and share many posts from the magazine online and use it to promote the independent magazine – but the key point to note here is that they have had to keep up with the market sand become digital.
“being a digital consumer, why should I buy your physical copy rather than access it online?”
Naturally being a younger consumer who has been brought up in a world where social media is the most obvious and easily accessible way of publishing I asked ” being a digital consumer, why should I buy your physical copy rather than access it online? do you do independent features that are magazine only?” I was curious to see if TANK were offering an incentive’s for a digital consumer to engage in the beauty of a physical copy. the response I got was what prompted this blog post, the creative directer simply said “no everything we create in the issue is accessible online and on social media”credit where credits due he did then follow up with how a zine is more personal and is more about the appreciation of having something that you can hold and you feel like is yours.
I left this lecture feeling slightly deflated, I felt that the art of having something of your own isn’t appreciated yet I am also very aware that I would rather follow the magazine online than I would want to spend the money actually having the physical form. So is the beauty in print publications being left behind? I would undoubtedly say that there is a very obvious area in the market that needs to be addressed considering everything is available online so why would people want to spend money on a physical copy? what does it have to offer other than being heavy and end up getting dusty on a “collectors” shelf.