Thomas Register: 'No More Print'
B2B publisher Thomas Industrial Network, Inc. is discontinuing all print publications in favor of the Internet exclusively. From the press release:
Following the 2006 edition of the Thomas Register® of American Manufacturers, Thomas Industrial Network will cease publication of this print directory, familiarly known to industry as the "Big Green Books." The Thomas Register Regional Buying Guides will be discontinued as well. The full information from these publications, and much more, will continue to be available free-of-charge at ThomasNet.com.
We were told of this last week. Is it a "tipping point"? What do you think?
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I don't see a lot of publishers following Thomas Register but I have to wonder how well they know their customers. I'm willing to bet that the choice to go digital wasn't just about saving printing cost. It sounds like they actually understand that the way people consume media is changing.
The quantifiable nature of a print publicationsâ€™ circulation/distribution may factor in legacy publishersâ€™ analysis. Although at a higher production cost than digital publication, print publicationsâ€™ audited circulation represents a fixed cost (circulation numbers also serve as sales support). The Internetâ€™s variable natureâ€"traffic levels and traffic acquisition costsâ€"complicates planning and strategy.
It's a pretty bold step and I know that it does come out of a pretty thoughtful analysis of their market and their competition.