Stevie Spring, chief executive of Future Publishing, said the advance of digital publishing would lead printed magazines to become collectable artefacts rather than sources of valuable information.
Addressing the PPA Conference, in London, Spring said she was upbeat about the future for magazine brands, telling delegates: “The next three years are going to be better that the last three years.”
Spring said the changes the magazine sector would have to embrace included accepting that technological developments were feeding changes in consumers ‘like never before”.
“Darwinism continues, but it’s Darwinism on speed,” she told delegates. “It’s survival of the fastestâ€¦we have to adapt and accept that some things are done much better in digital that in print.”
Spring said part of this change would see print magazines evolve into different types of products.
She said: ‘Print will evolve into collectable, keepable artefacts. Content that we want to own rather than connect with.”
Spring also warned about the prohibitive cost of producing digital content to meet customers with high expectations, saying publishers had learned a painful lesson in recent years and would have been better off not to have made some of the investments in internet businesses.
However, she added that the industry was likely to see “genuine return on [digital] investments” in the years to come.