Have Newspapers Really Become Outdated: Concept of Digital Only Editions
The newspaper industry has experienced a steady decline over the past decade due to a drop in readership and ad revenue – primarily to digital editions. Initially, digital only-editions were viewed as an optional add-on of the print edition, but tables have been turning late. More consumers prefer using their computers, phones, or tablets as their primary media for accessing content, meaning that digital-only editions are already overtaking print formats.
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While the shift to digital platforms was already taking place, the novel coronavirus pandemic accelerated the migration. Given the restrictions and precautions for physical interactions, publishers focused more on providing premium digital products, therefore, fast-tracking the consumption of digital only-editions. Yet, two years down the line, consumers don’t seem to be yearning to go back to print media, and it continues to hurt the industry, a sign of things to come. Here’s a closer look at the signs that might indicate print newspapers are becoming outdated.
Reasons Why Digital Only-Editions Are Thriving
The print publishing industry has weathered storms since the arrival of television in the 1950s, but the industry’s most significant blow came from the Internet. After mainstream populations adopted the Internet in 1990, there has been a steady decline in revenue for newspapers.
According to a survey by the Pew Research center, about 82% of American adults said they sometimes or often get news from a tablet, smartphone, or computer. Meanwhile, only 33% often or sometimes prefer print editions. With that in mind, below are the main advantages of digital-only editions over print ones.
Print media have largely been unable to efficiently compete with the Internet as the latter provides a convenient avenue for adverts, specifically in real estate, vehicles, and jobs. For example, in some regions, services such as Craigslist wiped out about 70% of some of the newspaper’s ad revenue. Additionally, between 2000 to 2007, the newspaper industry lost about $5.4 billion in ad revenue. The move by platforms Craigslist has seen newspaper classified advertising departments increase their subscription prices.
Timely Access to Content
Consumers want to access information promptly. In an era where emotions fluctuate by the hour, it is difficult for print publications to keep up with consumer needs. On the other hand, since digital editions can provide readers with both relevant and timely content, publishers are not worried about the time and suitability of the information. Therefore, they can channel their focus on providing content that connects with their readers at specific instances of time – especially when it comes to breaking news.
They are More Data Driven
Publishers can access a wide range of analytics and subscription integrations and use the data to their advantage since they have more access to their brand engagements. That way, digital only-editions have an edge as they allow publishers to strategize to provide content fit for their audience. Likewise, the data acquired can also help a publisher adjust their website or email strategy, something that is much more difficult for print editions.
More Qualities That Give Digital-Only Editions an Edge Over Print
On top of the top-three advantages, the other qualities that take digital-only editions miles ahead of their print counterparts are as follows:
- Significant save on printing costs
- More environmentally friendly as it reduces the cutting down of trees
- Sharing stories among readers is easier
- Better qualities of colors, pictures, and visual effects
- Publishers can easily engage readers via community discussions
- Easier to fix common errors in a story
Digital-Only Editions Are the Future
For ages, publishing content was explicitly left to broadcasting corporations and printing presses, but that is no longer the case. Due to the Internet, thousands of writers can communicate with global audiences via blogs.
And since search engines such as Google were launched, the way readers interact with content has completely changed. So, rather than a reader looking through general interest content from sources such as newspapers, they are now focused on accessing information from specific blogs, writers, or other sources using targeted searches. Such flexibility is why digital-only publications are miles ahead and will continue bringing more people to the fold.
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