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Economist sees print dead in 25 years, Flipboard as rival

updated 10:40 pm EDT, Thu April 26, 2012

Economist forecasts wholesale move to digital

Most print publishing will be gone within the next 25 years, The Economist CEO Andrew Rashbass predicted in a presentation on Thursday. Paper magazines were at new highs, and his publication was hoping to keep demand hihg, but he told paidContent and others at Madrid's Paley Center international council that he was realistic about print going away. He was enthusiastic about tablet reading, which gave the company a possible avenue for a business model after years of uncertainty over a pure web version.

It's not fashionable to say it, but I think, frankly, it will be all digital," Rathbass said. "I don't know when that will be exactly, but the idea that mass printing of paper will be around in 25 years is odd."

However, he saw direct competition from news curation apps like Flipboard. These apps gave someone else revenue that ought to belong to the original publication, Rashbass said. The issue wasn't serious, but Rashbass wouldn't have volunteered to optimize The Economist for Flipboard even if he had been asked.

Unlike with competitors such as the Financial Times, Rashbass wasn't upset about Apple's 30 percent cut on iPad magazines sold through the App Store. Third-party distribution costs were a regular part of the industry, he said.

By Electronista Staff


  1. moshu

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2008



    Head Up ...

    These 'experts', 'economists' and 'analysts' can't see 6 months down the road, let alone years.

  1. climacs

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 2001


    25 years?

    who the h*** knows what will happen in 25 years. The death of cinema was predicted with the advent of television in the 1950s. And the advent of the VCR in the 1970s.

  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008


    Don't trust future predictors

    They have NOTHING to base this on except what people are saying right now. No one saw Apple at $600/share except, I think, one analyst.
    Vinyl records were obsolete too except they are making a comeback.
    This guy doesn't even know what his income will be 12 months from now.
    Give me a break!

  1. samirsshah

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2010


    At least somebody

    has guts to talk sense about paper giving way to tablets and smartphones.

  1. erics

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2010



    When I got into Animation in 1994, I was told and promised by the media that print was dead by Y2K?

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: Nov 2006


    I hear you, folks!

    I am still waiting for my hover car so I can ditch my bicycle.

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