“At Egmont we’ve been experimenting with digital for about 12 years - books and magazines - and I can tell you now that our business is still very much print,” Cally Poplak, MD Egmont Publishing, told the PPA Festival (London, May 2017). “This is surprising as children now spend 10.3 hours a day on digital devices [including multi-screening], so surely there’s no future in print, is there?”

Print perseveres

Digital devices such as the Kindle may have made inroads into the adult publishing market, but that’s not happening in the children’s market. “A huge proportion of parents, about two thirds, are really anxious about their children being on screens - they want time away from screens.” she reported, citing Egmont’s own research.

“More surprising is that 70% of children up to the age of 17 still prefer to read in print.” Or maybe not, she added - children don’t develop at the same speed as the digital world. “Children still love the physical, they love to collect, to sort, to swap. And at the younger end to scribble in the magazine, to rip out the pages and stick posters on the wall.” The biggest impact of digital on the children’s market, she argued, was as a source of content rather than as a platform or format.