Even paper-focused companies are predicting a major fall for the printed page in the coming years. According to a study from forest products industry information provider RISI, tablets will have a serious effect on use of paper products in the near future. With over 10 million tablets currently in use in North America alone, RISI says that by 2015 paper end uses (including magazine, book and newspaper) will drop 12-21 percent from 2010 numbers.
Over the next 15 years, paper usage will decrease more rapidly, with numbers dropping another 40-50 percent. As print circ falters in the magazine industry (about 45 percent of consumer magazines report circ losses in ABC’s half year report), publishers have been putting an enormous amount of time and resources into producing digital editions for magazines. More publishers are striking deals for subscription sales with Apple (Reader’s Digest joined a growing group of publishers including Conde Nast, Time Inc., Hearst, etc. who now offer digital subscription and single copy for purchase through the App Store.) Time Inc. also recently announced that its entire magazine portfolio (21 titles in total) will be available for the iPad by January 2012, while it and other publishers like National Geographic are developing apps for Android-based tablets as well. Business-to-business publishers are getting into the tablet game as well, as American Banker just released their tablet-ready edition.