A write off
Are the days of printed car media numbered?
As a reader of Drivetribe, you no doubt love consuming car content. There's also a very good chance that you take in most of your media from some form of device, handheld or desktop. With this in mind, we're going to look at the state of the printed car media market and what the future may hold.
Not too many years ago, this thing called the internet arrived and turned the whole world on its head. For better or for worse, it was here to stay. As a kid growing up in the 90's, I grew up as the internet was in its years of rapid growth and development. Education and research could be done online, you could download music from the likes of iMesh and Limewire (yes, some of you are old enough to remember these file 'Sharing' programs) and you also had a whole world of cars at your fingertips. As we moved into the 21st century and the mid 2000's, YouTube really started to gather momentum and creators were uploading more and more car content. Those magazines that we all used to thumb through in the newsagents, plead to our parents to purchase or have subscriptions for and eagerly await them dropping through the letterbox once a month, now seemed somewhat flat and lacking compared to this shiny, new and exciting platform unfolding in front of us.
We've all heard the tuners expression, "there's no replacement for displacement". The question to consider today is whether online media is a viable and sustainable solution for printed press.
Ask an avid book reader which they prefer, a kindle or a hardback book and I'd be willing to bet my bottom dollar they much prefer the experience of holding a physical book and flicking through pages, rather than swiping on an e-reader. The same can be said of printed car content. I believe there's a generation of car enthusiasts who loved nothing more than thumbing through a car mag on a tea break or Sunday morning, browsing the classified or chuckling at the ludicrous mods displayed in Max Power and Fast Car. It was also the place to go for honest, real-world car reviews by persons who's whole career was built around reviewing and writing about cars. This is something I touch on in one of my other articles "Are influencers steering themselves blindly down a dead end road?".
Somehow, a physical, paper copy of an article, to me, carries way more impact than an online article could ever hope to achieve. This has never been more true than a certain write up in Classic Ford Magazine. It was written and the photos taken back in the summer of 2020, of my late, best friend, Scott Stacey's Mk2 Ford Escort rally replica.
We all know the internet is a far more secure place to store content and documents that are precious to us. However, knowing that I can grab a drink, kick back on the sofa and grab a physical item that I can read back through, written about my best friend ... There's something special about that.
Let us know your thoughts
A picture tells a thousand words
There are arguments for and against both printed and online media and we're not here to pick holes in either of them. There is no doubt that with consumer interest leaning more and more towards online and video content that written and printed press is on the decline. I just hope that for the sake of the older, more traditional car fans, that we don't loose the printed content that we know and love, at least for a few more years.