Can there be a hot trend and a not-so-hot trend at the same time?

The more I read through blogs and articles on topics regarding the future of the print industry, the more I realize in order to visualize it, I must see the trends. I’ve found a great sense of understanding through the use of charts. After reading through some blogs and seeing straight-forward charts basically saying, “Hey look who’s down again, and look who’s the same and Oh wow, they’re not looking too hot…” I started to realize ┬áthat I wasn’t seeing the larger trends. Trends over a longer period of time.

Newspaper Circulation trends from 1990 to 2010.

Newspaper Circulation trends from 1990 to 2010. Taken from The Awl.

As you can see, the trend of decline is still prevalent, and it is happening faster. When I look at this, my first thought is, “Wow, I’m glad I’m not the L.A. ┬áTimes,” but my second thought is, “How smart is it to include the Wall Street Journal’s online subscribers…” After processing this concept, I started to wonder if other newspapers have increased by online subscriptions. If that’s the case, a lot of profit can be circulated, just not in the traditional way.

Even articles in 2007 were reporting on how print sales were dropping, but the online media was expanding. 2007 is a year we see a lot of drops in the chart above. Advertisers were still interested in supporting the online media because it attracts the younger readers. Younger readers are often sought out by advertisers. So what does this mean? The answer is obvious. The industry is changing, and the change is not necessarily threatening. We just have to break out of our comfortable ways and turn on our computers.