Who Says Print Is Dead? Streaming Media Ups its Print Schedule

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Like most of you reading this magazine, I’ve become a binge viewer thanks to online video. My latest obsession is with "The Wire," David Simon’s brilliant HBO series that turned the police procedural into a running commentary on, as he put it, “how institutions have an effect on individuals.” Each season of the Baltimore-set show focuses on a different theme -- the impact of drugs on a community, the Baltimore docks, the school system, city politics, and the media.

I’m currently watching the fifth season, which spends time with reporters at a fictionalized version of The Baltimore Sun, where Simon had worked as a police reporter, as I’m writing this. The episode I just finished found the newspaper’s brass informing its staff that they’d be facing another round of layoffs and buyouts, in part because print is competing with other sources of news, particularly the internet. This was in 2008, mind you, and we’ve been hearing about the death of print ever since (and, to be fair, we started hearing about it earlier than that).

Ironic, then, that I’m writing this column about the fact that Streaming Media is expanding from six print issues per year to nine in 2014. Like just about everyone else, I’m consuming more of my magazines and newspapers online, but for me it’s a matter of necessity and convenience rather than preference. As compelling as richly interactive magazine and newspaper features can be online, I’d still rather pick up what is, to me at least, the real thing. Print, even for periodicals, has a sense of permanence and weight -- as in gravitas, not necessarily physical heft -- that online still can’t match. It brings a legitimacy to what’s written on it that pixels on a screen just doesn’t have. The ephemerality of the web has a price; nobody, you’ll notice, has managed to establish themselves as “the website of record.”

Perhaps I’m romanticizing print a bit, but clearly I’m not the only one who feels this way about it. Streaming Media has always functioned “in print, online, and in person,” as our old tagline used to say, and our decision to increase the print frequency is based on what we’ve heard from both readers and advertisers. So I’m thrilled that we’ll be upping our print output by half next year.

So what are we going to do with all those extra pages? Better serve our readers, we hope, by continuing to act as “the filter of the industry” and the go-to source for technical insight and how-to articles that, quite simply, help you do your job better. Whether you’re a media executive or an encoding geek -- and our reader demographics have always revealed that we reach equal amounts of each -- you’ll find more in-depth looks into the topics that matter most to you, no matter if you’re using online video to deliver Hollywood movies or classroom content.

Each issue will continue to boast several lengthy features on the topics most important to the online video industry, but what’s really different about our 2014 editorial calendar (which you can see here) is that each issue has at least one, and sometimes as many as three, how-to articles that will cover topics from encoding with HEVC to creating video with Google Glass to building a 4K live production workflow.

That last topic highlights the fact that our Streaming Media Producer brand, hot off the heels of its inaugural Producer Live! event as part of Streaming Media West, will play a more prominent role in our print publication. In addition to Producer-focused topics in each issue, we’ll dedicate the entire April issue to production equipment in what we’re calling our “Gear of the Year” guide, which will outline production kit options for different workflows and budgets.

If you have a topic you’d like to see covered in the pages of this magazine, by all means drop me a note. And the next issue that you read will be our first-ever January issue, out in early 2014.

This article appears in the December 2013 issue of Streaming Media magazine as "Who Says Print Is Dead?"

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