Impact of Digitization on Print Media
Roll No. A1921518004
Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication
Amity University, Directorate of Distance & Online Education
Declaration by Author
Sl. No. Chapter 1 iIntroduction ii. Objectives of the Study iii. Methodology Chapter 2: Analysis of the impact of Digitization on use of traditional print media i. Survey Ii Survey Results iii. Analysis of survey results Chapter 3: Impact of Digitization on job opportunities in the print media field Chapter 4: Impact of digitization of print media on new age India iChapter 5: Conclusions Introduction
History of Print Media
Print media is one of the oldest and basic forms of mass communication. It refers to paper publications circulated in the form of physical editions of books, magazines, journals, newspapers and newsletters. The other forms of print media include flyers, billboards, mail marketing and press releases are less popular but are still used by industry professionals.
The morning newspaper first took shape in Europe in the middle of the 16th century. By 1818, weekly newspapers started being published in French, English, Dutch and German from Amsterdam in Holland. But the first daily newspaper, the ‘Daily Courant’ was published in England in the year 1702.
Indian Print Media Industry
The evolution of newspapers in India begins with the introduction of the ‘Bengal Gazette’ by James Augustus Hicky in 1780 as a weekly two-sheet paper. This newspaper paved the way for Indian freedom struggle and the fight against the social evils in India by the way of revolutionary and enlightening writings. Soon, other newspapers such as Calcutta Chronicle, Madras Courier, Bombay Herald, Bombay Courier and Bombay Gazette were introduced and newspapers in Hindi and other regional languages began to flourish in all parts of India.
The main motives behind publishing newspapers in regional languages were to promote the feeling of patriotism and to encourage social reforms because the society was occupied with a lot of prejudices and social evils. Raja Ram Mohan Roy who is considered the founder of the Indian Press recognized the power of newspapers and used it as vehicle for propagating liberal ideas and eradicating social evils in the Indian society.
Some of the oldest newspapers in India are the Bombay Samachar in Gujarati, first published in 1832; The Times of India in English in 1838; Pioneer in English in 1864 and the Amrit Bazar Patrika in English in 1868.
The Indian Press today consists of more than 250,000 newspapers, magazines and periodicals published in more than 20 different languages with a combined circulation of more than 75 million.
According to the IRS 2017 report released on 18 January 2018, 39% of Indians read newspapers. There is a 9% growth in total newspaper readership n the last four years. Among individuals aged above 12, the IRS 2017 recorded a one month readership of 104 crore compared to 96 crore in the year 2014.
The Rise of Digital Media
The rapid surge of the smartphones and social media has raised several questions regarding the relevance of print media in today’s world. Digital media platforms have witnessed exponential growth in the last decade, the target audience is no longer restricted to a specific demographic or a geographical bubble; they are spread across the world in different geographical locations.
Before digital expansion, publishers had a fairly captive audience. The readers’ source of information was limited to the newspapers and magazines they bought. Wider circulations meant greater ad revenues, giving the publisher greater power to monetize. But in today’s world all those advantages have vanished; readers have free access to news and other content at the click of a button on their smartphones and other digital platforms.
Incorporation of videos and other multimedia elements and segment wise content are some of the important elements in making news relevant and engaging. The Chicago tribune was the pioneer in publishing an online newspaper in 1992, since then newspaper and magazine organizations are catering to the need for 24×7 online news by introducing online operations such as e-papers and news websites, which not only enable the sharing of content online but also provide the users with an option to comment and provide feedback and share their views and opinions. In addition to digital news outlets, consumers are discovering their content on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Snapchat; thereby forcing media outlets to write stories that engage and cater to an entirely new target audience.
Even in India a lot of newspaper reader prefer reading news online. Indian online readers will grow very fast as per research by the Internet and Mobile Association if India (IAMAI). As per the research, 278 million people were using the Internet in India till October 2014 and 302 million more users were projected by December 2014.
Emerging markets such as India and China are ripe for digital media investment.
Cheap smartphones and the rollout of 3G and 4G broadband infrastructure are rapidly coming together to democratize online access.
All of the above factors put together form the foundation for accelerated digital media adoption and consumption in merging markets.
Considering the rapid rise in digital media, users should be aware of the pros and cons of online platforms.
The major advantages of digital media are listed below:
It has enabled individuals to learn more in an easier and faster manner
It has allowed individuals to connect with people from all over the world
It is easily accessible
There is no cost involved in using most of the digital media platforms
It provides information on a timely basis
The major disadvantages of digital media are:
It has made identity theft and plagiarism easier
It is a major distraction/ addiction
It makes it easier to manipulate news thereby affecting the credibility of news online
It has affected the social skills of individuals as there is no longer a need to meet with people in person
Keeping in mind the growing importance of digital media in today’s world, the broader objective of this study is to determine the impact of digitization on print media specific to newspapers and magazines.
This study has been divided into two aspects to better understand the impact of digitization on print media.
Study of user preferences
As the number of digital media users continues to increase and generations grow up with iPads and smartphones as integral parts of their everyday lives, it has become increasingly important to understand the preferences of the consumers. ‘Is Print Media dying?’ has become an important for us to answer. Through this study, I hope to answer that question by answering the following questions related to user references.
Do consumers prefer e – reading to traditional print media?
Why do consumers like e-reading websites and applications?
Do consumers have subscriptions to online newspapers and magazines?
Do consumers rely on digital news outlets or social media for news?
Has the availability of new online increased awareness on current affairs among consumers?
Study of impact of digital media on the print media industry
The rising popularity of digital media has changed the way print media functions. Through this study I will be answering the follow questions:
Has the rise in digital media affected the business models of print media firms?
Is there an increase in job opportunities available in the print media industry due to rise of the digital media landscape?
Has online media impacted the revenues in the print media industry?
Considering there are two aspects to this project, two separate methodologies were adopted to arrive at the conclusion for each of them.
Study of user preferences
This study was done through an online survey to determine the preferences of users.
This method was chosen as it is cost effective, convenient for the respondents and as all responses are stored electronically, it makes analysis easier.
A questionnaire was created on Google forms and the link to the questionnaire was circulated via social media and emails.
It was sent to 50 users who have access to digital platforms, aged 15 years and above.
The survey results have been analyzed to understand preferences of the users belonging to different age groups to draw findings and conclusions on the impact of digitization on print media.
II. Study of impact of digital media on the print media industry
For this study, all findings have been arrived at through extensive research using credible sources of information
A comparison between the media industry before the rise of digital media and after it has been done
Changes in the job landscape post the rise of digital media has been analyzed to understand whether the impact of digital media has been positive or negative for the print media industry
Study of User Preferences
As mentioned above a survey was conducted through the use of Google forms to analyze the preferences of users and to draw conclusions regarding the impact of digitization on print media.
The survey consisted of multiple-choice questions and also had free text fields where necessary for the user’s to fill in if their preference differed from the available answer options. It was sent to 50 users who have access to print as well as digital media, all aged 15 and above. Further details of the survey questions and respondents are listed below.
Survey link: https://goo.gl/forms/RjFlBn0eSJo5lyXx2
Sl. No. Question Answer Options
1. What is your age? 15 – 29
30 – 45
46 – 59
60 or older
2. What is your gender? Male
3. Do you prefer print newspapers and magazines to online newspapers and magazines? Yes
3.1 If answer to question 3 is yes, why do you prefer print to online newspapers and magazines? I trust printed information more
It is more convenient
I prefer the sensory aspect of a physical newspaper or magazine
3.2 If answer to question 3 is no, why do you prefer online newspapers and magazines to print? Easily accessible
No cost involved
Information is more current
4. Do you use online newspaper or magazine application on your phone? Yes
4.1 If answer to question 4 is yes, how often do you use it? Everyday
Twice or more times a week
Once a week
Once a month
5. Would you use online newspapers or magazines if you had to pay a subscription fee? Yes
6. Do you rely on digital news outlets (websites and applications) or social media for news? Digital news outlets
7. Has the availability of news online increased your awareness of current affairs? Yes
8. Do you feel pressured by the surge in digital media to access information through digital platforms rather than print? Yes
Details of Respondents
The survey was circulated via social media and emails among users who have access to digital platforms, aged 15 and above.
Age Range of Respondents
Age Range Number of Respondents
15 – 29 18
30 – 45 16
46 – 59 8
60 or older 8
Total number of respondents 50
Gender Breakup Number of Respondents
Total number of respondents 50
Analysis of Survey Results
Below is a detailed analysis of the survey results by question.
56% of the users i.e. 26 out of 50 respondents, prefer print media over online newspapers and magazines
48% of the users i.e. 24 out of 50 respondents, prefer online magazines and newspapers over print media
An equal of male and female users chose digital media over print media and vice versa
The breakup of users who chose print media over digital media by age group is listed below
Age Range Percentage
15 – 29 42.31%
30 – 45 15.38%
46 – 59 15.38%
60 or older 26.92%
Considering how tech savvy the younger generation is, surprisingly a majority of them still prefer print media to digital media. As expected a majority of the older generation still prefer print media.
The breakup of users who chose digital media over print media by age group is listed below
Age Range Percentage
15 – 29 29.17%
30 – 45 50%
46 – 59 16.67%
60 or older 4.17%
Majority of the respondents who chose digital media over print media are between the ages of 30-45. Only 1 user in the age group of 60 or older, contributing to the 4.17% in the table above chose digital media over print media
Even with the rise in digital media, more than 50% of the users still prefer print media over online newspapers and magazines, thereby indicating the relevance of print media even with the surge in digital platforms
The users who answered ‘No’ to the question ‘Do you prefer print media to online newspapers and magazines’ were asked this additional question to understand why they prefer digital media to print media
50% of the users prefer digital media as it is easily accessible and 37.5% of the users prefer digital media as the information is more current when compared to print media
Two users specifically stated that they prefer digital media due to the availability of different cuts or segments of information and that digital media is more eco friendly as it saves paper
The accessibility of information and the timeliness of the information received by the users is the main reason behind why users prefer digital media
The users who answered ‘Yes’ to the question ‘Do you prefer print media to online newspapers and magazines’ were asked this additional question to understand why they prefer print media to digital media
50% of the users like the sensory aspect a physical newspaper or magazine
19.2% find accessibility to print media more convenient
26.9% trust printed information more trustworthy
One specific user mentioned that printed information is not only more trustworthy but also has the right amount of information
All the users who prefer print media due to its convenience are above the age of 45, indicating that the older generation consider print media more convenient even though digital platforms are easily accessible
64% of the respondents use online newspaper or magazine applications on their phone
36% of the respondents do not use online newspaper or magazine applications on their phone
Equal number of male and female users use applications on their phone and vice versa
The breakup of users who do not use newspaper and magazine applications on their phone by age group is listed below
Age Range Percentage
15 – 29 16.67%
30 – 45 27.78%
46 – 59 33.33%
60 or older 22.22%
55.55% of the users who do not use newspaper and magazine applications on their phone are above the age of 45, indicating that the older generation prefers not to use mobile application as their source of information
The breakup of users who use newspaper and magazine applications on their phone by age group is listed below
Age Range Percentage
15 – 29 46.88%
30 – 45 34.38%
46 – 59 6.25%
60 or older 12.5%
A majority of the users (81.25% ) who use newspaper and magazine applications on their phone are between the ages of 15 and 45, indicating that the younger generation prefer to use mobile applications s a source of information
Users who answered ‘Yes’ to the question ‘Do you use online newspaper or magazine applications on your phone?’ were asked this additional question to understand how frequently they use these news applications
71.9% of the users use the applications on a daily basis and 25% of the users use it twice or more times a week
Therefore 97% of the users use online newspaper and magazine applications very frequently
82% of users would not use online newspapers and magazines if they had to pay a subscription fee
18% of users would continue to use online newspapers and magazines even if they had to pay a subscription fee
One of the important aspects of digital media is the fact that there is no cost involved unlike print media where users have to pay a price to buy a newspaper or magazine. This proves that a majority of the users would not use digital media if there were a cost associated with it
56% of users rely on digital news outlets such as new applications and websites for news
44% of users rely on social media for news
Social media plays and important role in today’s world by enabling people to connect and share news faster due to its global reach. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, Whatsapp, Snapchat and Instagram serve as platforms for sharing trending new articles and events on a real time basis, making it easier for users to use social media as their source of information and to share news with the world
96% of users confirmed that the availability of news online has increased their awareness of current affairs
Of the 96%, 66.67 % of the users are between the ages of 15 and 45
The availability of news through various digital platforms has reduced dependency on print media, making it easier for users to stay informed of current affairs
The easy accessibility and flexibility of digital media also plays a role in the reason why users choose to use online media as their primary source of information
This does not prove the decline of print media, but it proves that the availability of easily accessible digital platforms has made users more aware of world events
The surge in digital media has increased reliance on digital media platforms, but do users feel pressured to use these platforms to print media?
The current generation has grown up using digital media and it forms an integral part of their daily lives, but does the older generation feel compelled to use digital media platforms?
52% of users do not feel pressured to use digital media
48% of users do feel pressured to use digital media rather than print
Per the results of the survey, a slight majority of users do not feel pressured to use digital media platforms but it is important to note that 75% of the respondents aged 60 or older do feel compelled to use digital media
Based on the survey results and analysis, below listed are the final findings of this aspect of the entire study of impact of digitization on print media.
There has been a lot of speculation around whether print media is dying and if digital media is going to take over the role that print media has been playing in circulating news and creating awareness among users all these years Based on the survey results print media is till marginally more favoured than digital media.
The sensory aspect of newspapers and magazines plays a major role in the reason behind why many users prefer print media. The feeling of holding a physical newspaper or magazine cannot be replaced by news available on smartphones and tablets.
Some users find the news available through print media more credible and reliable as all of the information printed is thoroughly vetted before being published, unlike news available on digital media platforms that can be manipulated to spread rumours and to create panic among people.
It was observed that individuals of all age groups and not just the older generation prefer print media. However most of the individuals belonging to the older generation prefer print media due to its convenience when compared to digital platforms, which they have not been using until recent times.
Whereas the younger generation that has been exposed to digital media from a young age prefer print media due to the sensory aspect of holding a physical newspaper or magazine
Print media has definitely been affected by the rise in digital media but it has not become obsolete.
A significant number of the users also prefer digital media to print media. The reasons for their preference indicate the changing needs of the consumers and the requirement for the Press to cater to those needs.
Accessibility and timeliness of information play a key role in today’s world. The easy accessibility of information through various digital portals and platforms enables users to stay connected with what’s happening in the world on a real time basis
Digital media also provides the users with the option to view different segments or cuts of information according to their preference hence making it easier for the user to view only what he/she finds relevant or
Digital media platforms also provide the users with the opportunity to provide feedback and to share their thoughts and opinions on specific topics which is not possible with print media
Increasing attention to the effects of deforestation has led to users becoming more environmentally responsible, thereby opting digital media over print media
Since the rise in digital media, news agencies have introduces mobile applications that enable users to access news on a real time basis on their smartphones.
Majority of the users (64%) use theses mobile applications on their smartphones to stay informed about happenings around the world
More than 50% of the users who do not use mobile news applications belong to the older generation indicating that the older generation still prefers print media or other sources of information to digital platforms such as mobile news applications
More than 80% of the users who use mobile news applications on their smartphone belong to the younger generation that has grown up using digital platforms in the daily lives.
The easy accessibility and the flexibility of mobile news applications are the reasons for its popularity
97% of users use mobile application at least once a week indicating the importance of the availability of news 24×7 and it’s availability on a real time basis
One of the attractive features of digital media is the fact that most of the digital media platforms are available to the users without paying a price to access it.
News agencies have adapted to the changing needs of the consumers by introducing news websites and mobile news applications. When users were asked if they would use these applications, which are currently available free of cost, if they had to pay a subscription fee, majority of the users said they would not continue to use the application
This indicates the importance of digital news outlets being available to the users free of cost. Digital news outlets at the moment are not only easily accessible but the fact that the users do not have to pay a price unlike print media plays an important role in drawing the attention and favour of individuals
Considering the availability of other platforms such as social media where users can receive the same information free of cost, it is important to continue to make digital news outlets available free of cost
It is undeniable that social media has become a huge aspect of modern society. In society today, 92% of teenagers use online platforms everyday and 71% use more than one social network. In total, 31% of the global population use social media.
A significant number of users prefer using social media for updates on current affairs
One of the reasons for could be that users use social media more often than digital news outlets such as news applications and websites, thereby making social media their primary source of information
The advantage of using social media as the primary source of information is that it makes sharing of news easier and faster
Most social media platforms have a ‘Trending’ page / tab that provides users with the latest news
Users however, must exercise caution while sharing news posted on social media as they are not always from credible sources of information and can lead to unnecessary confusion among consumers.
News published on digital news outlets are more reliable as they are vetted before being published, unlike the information shared on social media
The widespread reach of digital media has made it possible to report on news from all over the world instantaneously. The additional feature of easy accessibility has made it possible for users to keep themselves informed of current affairs.
Majority of the users agree that the availability of digital media has made them more aware of current affairs
The easy availability of news is definitely one of the factors that has helped users to keep themselves informed but another aspect is that digital media enables the sharing of information across various different digital platforms
While Millenials and Generation Z have grown up using different digital media platforms, the older generations have adapted to changes in media. Traditional print media is still available but the increasing dependency on digital media has created pressure to use digital platforms.
The younger generations find it easier to use existing digital media platforms and to adapt to new developments in digital media
The older generations, however, are the ones who feel pressurized to use digital media platforms
Impact of digital media on the print media industry
Prior to the rise of digital media, the print media industry operated on a linear model, consisting of content, distribution and audience with a small group of publishers making editorial decisions. The explosion of the Internet ripped that model apart, all of sudden everyone had access to digital platforms and could voice their opinions and thoughts.
The Internet also brought about the rise of new trends such as blogging, which allowed users to publish content of their choice with the click of a button, and the advent of YouTube did the same through videos and soon the gatekeepers of the media industry began to lose their power as users could now create, edit and publish their own content without any cost. This change has proved to be a boon for new entrants. The little to no cost associated with the online format created opportunities for upcoming businesses and for individuals who wished to share their thoughts with the public.
Changes in cost structure
Media companies have been forced to adapt and reinvent their strategies, operating models and technology and be more innovative in content development, distribution, operations and monetization.
The digital shift has brought about a shift in the costs model of the print media sector.
Costs are being reallocated, cost have moved from the production side to the distribution side
Costs associated with core operations like creation, editorial process, marketing and sales remain unaffected
With the surge of blogs and other tools, promotional costs have moved from the traditional ones
New costs are arising on the software side with regard to cyber security, right management etc.; bringing along a growing segment of enabling technology providers (web hosting, billing, content delivery networks)
Media companies have been working towards managing their variable costs by maintaining fewer staff editors and content producers and instead develop a network of external contributors
Fixed costs are being controlled through centralization, outsourcing, offshoring and portfolio rationalization
Publishers have cut down the frequency on their print frequency, moving to a three days a week or weekend only publication or have eliminated print entirely
Changes to the cost structure paved the way for developing new business models, to monetize sales and channelize the newly emerged revenue streams into the business.
New Sources of Revenue
The advent of digital media has also forced media companies to advantage of the Internet and develop news sources of revenue while holding onto their existing daily print operations.
Some of the ways in which media companies have tried to diversify the revenue sources are listed below.
In an effort to raise revenue through their online presence, some newspapers implemented paywalls on readers to access their online content. Considering the availability of numerous other cost free sources of information, this strategy was only partially successful and many newspapers had to retreat from it. Only select newspapers that publish premium and exclusive content have been able to survive this model
Newspapers took advantage of innovative technology to provide advertising opportunities featuring videos and pictorial content on their online sites. Analytics were used to better target their advertising to readers. So if a reader has been surfing furniture websites, the newspaper could push furniture ads to that reader.
Newspaper have also been assisting advertisers in the creation of ad content, including design, copy and video production services
Some newspapers have created niche websites to provide exclusive content to its readers
Few newspapers have adopted diversification strategies by publishing content that is beyond its core offerings to cater to a bigger audience and to target new, younger readers. For example French newspaper Le Monde has created separate segments called ‘Pixels’ that covers technology, digital culture and online gaming, ‘Les Decodeurs’ that focuses on fact checking, data journalism, busting hoaxes and explanation on trending topics and ‘Campus’ is targeted at students and their families, addressing various aspects of student life
Several newspapers have launched travel, financial and event services. The travel section offers organized trips to destinations with one of the columnists or correspondents and also advertises discounts on travel and hotel packages on bookings made through the site. The Financial service provides advice on mortgages, credit cards and other such relevant topics. The events section hosts a variety of events such book launches.
What Print Media Companies need to do
In the new digitally advanced newspaper market, where it is easy for new entrants and small players to enter and emerge as strong competitors, it is important for traditional publishers to make a few key decisions in order to operate efficiently and effectively and to continue growing.
Build a relationship with the readers by building communities where readers can share their interest and express their views and opinions.
Offer exclusive privileges such as memberships and access to interest specific newsletters to foster brand loyalty
Media companies need to keep themselves abreast with technology and software updates and become more innovate in their approach
Develop, test and launch innovate technology and methods to draw and retain the attention of readers
Reinvent their business model by shifting from print and high priced subscription model to a free, ad supported model
Seek ways to engage with a wider and more global audience across multiple channels
Restructure the operating model to separate the core functions from the non core functions
Create short-form content suitable for digital and media consumption
Increase the use of automation for article writing
Be more engaged and active on social media platforms by regularly posting content and responding to reader comments
Develop capabilities in the production of content such as advertorials
Create a centralized function for the development of customer facing applications
Rebalance investment portfolio to align with the new business and operating models
Practice better discipline in tracking and managing return on investment
Changes in Print Media Advertising
History of Print Advertising
Technology, Commerce and social trends have all played a role in the history of print media advertising. The advent of print advertising revolutionized the way businesses sold their products and progressed into a major revenue source for print media companies.
Print advertising witnessed significant progress during the 19th century when New York City hosted the first advertising agents convention and John Wanamaker, who is considered a pioneer in marketing, established the first full time advertising job at his department store in 1880. By the end of the 19th century, major corporations had fully embraced print advertising, with Procter and Gamble budgeting $11,000 to advertise its product. By the beginning of the 20th century, companies such as W.K Kellogg were operating with an advertising budget of $1 million.
Print advertising met its first competitor in 1920 when the first radio station went on air. Two years later, the first radio advertisements wen ton air posing a threat to print advertising and soon after, televisions entered the market, acting as the second competitor to print advertising.
Digital Advertising vs. Print Advertising
Over the years, the popularity of digital advertising has reached its peak. There are a lot of debates around why online advertising is better than print advertising and vice versa. To better understand the advantages of one over the other, below listed are the benefits of both individually, post which an analysis has been done to understand when digital advertising should be used and when business should use print advertising.
Digital advertising offers the following benefits:
It is more cost effective, as unlike print advertising the business is required to pay only for the individual clicks that the advertisement gets. Thus making it easier for small businesses and start-ups to afford advertising. For example if the business has a budget of $2000 but only get $500 worth of clicks, they only have to pay $500
Digital advertising offers the business the flexibility to customize their advertisements to target a specific group of people who access the site. Social media platforms use data collected from users and third party brokers to target ads to specific potential customers.
Digital advertising allows the business user to get real time insights on performance, click through statistics and detailed information regarding the number of users who have interacted with the site or have shared the ad with others
For small business that are not only looking for customers but also partnerships with other business, digital advertising can be a great option as it offers the business user the platform to connect with various brands and investors from around the world through advertising
Digital media platforms constantly update and improve their tools to enable better advertising. For example, Instagram released shoppable photo tags which allows users to shop from a brand without leaving the app, making it more convenient for customers
Print advertising offers the following benefits:
Brands that place advertisements in respected publications receive the same positive feeling from readers that are associated with the publication itself, thereby enabling business to leverage the credibility of the publication to promote sales
Many businesses rely on a more experienced customer and not just the younger generation. Thus print advertising can be more appealing to an older demographic
Print media tends to have longstanding, loyal readership. This frequent readership helps in reinforcing the advertisers message or even in developing an ongoing campaign that may cover multiple issues
Print media has unlimited exposure, it can help draw the attention of readers who would otherwise not be interested in purchasing a product or service to consider a purchase due to the benefits advertised
Print advertisements are non intrusive, they do not interrupt a reader from or user while they are working on other tasks
Print advertisements are more permanent in nature, as long as the publication is in circulation, the print ad remains in circulation as well. No other form of advertising provides that much potential longevity from a single investment
The business should make a choice depending on who their target population is and the amount of resources they have.
If the business is looking to target a specific population, digital advertising would be more suitable whereas if the business wants to reach out to the population as a whole, print advertising would be more suitable as it offers the advantage of blanket advertising
The choice of advertising could also depend on the geographic location that the business is trying to target. If the product or service is targeted to a more local audience, print advertising would be more suitable and efficient whereas if the business is looking at advertising on global scale, digital advertising would be more suitable as it has a more global outreach
For businesses that have the budget and resources to spend, print advertising is a great form of branding. However, for businesses with smaller advertising budgets, online advertising is a more suitable as it advertising spend would only depend on the number of clicks that ad gets
For businesses that are looking at a more flexible and customizable form of advertising, digital advertising would be best suited as it is not static and allows the business to make updates and improve the advertisement frequently
Businesses that are looking at a more permanent and longstanding form of advertising, print advertising would be best suited
Digital vs. Print Advertising Revenue
As newspaper and magazine publishers around the world are trying to adapt to challenges and opportunities presented by digital disruption, newspaper and magazine publishers are looking at new and innovative ways to attract customers and advertisers. According to a an article published by CNBC in December 2017, it is estimated that half of all global advertising dollars will be spent online by 2020, matching the worldwide combined “offline” ad spend, such as TV, print ads and billboard posters, according to forecasts. Forecasts suggest that digital media will take 44 percent, or $237 billion, of all ad money spent globally in 2018, with that figure reaching 50 percent, or $291 billion, by 2020.
Considering how print advertising is one of the main sources of revenue for newspapers and magazine, the advent and rising popularity of digital advertising has affected and will continue to impact print advertising revenues.
As seen, in the graph above in the US, there has been a steady decline in the number of print ads over the years as digital advertising gains popularity.
In India, The Internet’s share in total advertising revenue is expected to double from eight per cent in 2013 to 16 percent in 2018, according to a report by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and PwC. Unlike in the West, the shift of advertising online would be gradual in India. In the US, revenue from digital advertising exceeded print advertising long ago and is closing in on television.
In India, the print medium is continuing to grow, so its advertising revenue is expected to grow at seven per cent annually over the next five years, while television advertising revenue will grow at over 12 per cent. But with Internet advertising growing faster, its share in total advertising revenue should hit 16 per cent by 2018. Television will maintain a 40 per cent share and print advertising will move down to 34 per cent.
Media planners said advertisers were increasingly turning online but the difference in rates between the digital and traditional media was still too high. Digital advertising is unlikely to replace print and TV advertising in India. Digital advertising is growing but we have to bear in mind that India is the only market in the world where print advertising is also growing and that print and TV will continue to be critical media vehicles in India.
Combining Print and Digital Advertising
An advertising strategy that focuses solely on digital advertising at the expense of it’s print advertising budget, risks the chance of potentially missing out on some huge cross media benefits. In some circumstances readers may appreciate that the business is active on digital media but at other times they may prefer the sensory aspect of a physical printed advertisement. Therefore it is not just about having a presence on digital or print media but having presence that is versatile and ranges across different forms of media.
However, the challenge with running both digital and print advertising campaigns is that they could end up working in silos rather than working together to promote the brand or service. But there are several ways in which businesses can combine print and digital advertising to make the most of their resources and to earn maximum gains. Some of them are listed below.
One of the best tactics to combine digital and print media advertising is to promote one media channel through the other. It helps to leverage the strengths of both digital and print media. Print media can serve as a channel to raise awareness and disseminate information about the company and it’s products and services and digital media can be used to drive action. Featuring digital media links such as web address, hashtag or QR code can directly lead the reader to digital media profiles of the business. For example, featuring QR codes in print advertisements is a simple, effective and affordable way in seamlessly guiding the reader over to the intended destination, be it a product page, service information page or mobile application page. Similarly, social media and other digital platforms can be used to draw attention of the businesses followers on social media to the launch of print media campaigns
Using innovative print techniques to draw the attention of the reader is another way in which print and digital media can be used in union. Techniques such as embossing, pop up print books and custom die cutting can help printed material to stand out, draw the attention of the reader and to make the reader share the content to possibly make it go viral on digital platforms
Exploring the possibilities of variable printing that allows the business to personalize graphics and images as they are printed without slowing down the printing process is a perfect advertising technique if the business has data on the intended recipient. Combining social media campaigns with variable printing is an effective method to gain the attention of readers. For example, social media campaigns can used to encourage followers to sign up for free goodies
Digital media platforms can be used to only to gather feedback on products and services but can also be utilized to gather feedback on print media campaigns
The combination of print and digital advertising can be effective at different stages in the sales process. Instead of running multiple digital media campaigns by itself or multiple print media campaigns by itself that would not benefit each other, running simultaneous print and digital campaigns that allow cross pollination and analytical convergence would help the business. Understanding how to link them, won’t just help business reap benefits from both approaches but it will also help create a unified multi-channel marketing and advertising presence that is far greater than advertising solely through print or digital media alone.
Changes in Job Landscape in the Print Media Industry
One of the significant changes in the print media industry today lies in where the jobs are. Employment seekers, whether they are recent graduates just entering the workforce or experienced professionals transitioning between jobs, aren’t finding the same opportunities at newspapers that they once did. Instead they’re finding new openings at native digital news organizations. Growth lies in small news outlets that have fewer staff and focus on local coverage. For example, Buzzfeed has increased its staff by 2733%, increasing from six employees to 170 employees in just three years.
Some of the changes in the employment landscape and the role of existing designations, are listed below:
Media companies are now on the lookout for candidates with a range of different skills to take advantage of their varied skill set to tell stories in different ways. They are hiring candidates with a mix of legacy and non-legacy journalism skills.
Increase in demand for digital content means the need for more videos, interactive infographics and crowd sourced content.
Print media companies are hiring top talent from digital media, TV and consumer product industries to help in increasing sales and in creating business outside of their core print properties
Editors are playing new internal and external roles. Internally they are expected to maintain a close relationship with the publisher and together present a united front to the industry and to advertisers by partnering on the development of an editorial environment shaped by both editorial content and advertisements. Externally, the editor is taking on the role of a lead ambassador through branded social media activities and interviews and appearances at consumer and advertiser events
Collecting and analyzing data has become the key to determining how to acquire audiences and make money from them. Publishers are now hiring and integrating more data and analytics experts into their organizations
Print Media in the West vs. India
The news industry as a whole can be divided into two markets: developing media markets and mature media markets. In developing media markets traditional media and printed newspapers are a growing business whereas mature media markets are losing their audiences due to news consumption via the Internet.
The newspaper industry has witnessed a steady decline over the last decade in developed countries such as the US and UK.
Print media in developed economies
As advertising revenue has been taken over by Internet giants such as Facebook and Google, newspaper profits have declined. The industry has faced many bankruptcies in recent years and those that are still operating have laid off a large number of their staff. In the US, the number of full time journalists has dropped by 20% since 2001.
Newspaper giants such as the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian have developed robust Internet presence for themselves.
In the case of the Guardian, the site receives 38 million visitors per day compared to their print circulation of just 200,000 copies. But since the online readers read for free, it does not add to their revenue income. The web advertising revenue, which in most newspapers counts for only 10%-15% of total revenues, can’t compete with the print ad revenues of the past. The below graph depicts the decline in ad revenue in the US over the years.
Print media in India
Unlike developed economies where print media has been declining, developing economies such as China and India have seen a rise in print media in the recent years.
The Audit Bureau of Circulations in India issued a press release on May 8, 2017 highlighting the growth of print media in India. Newspaper circulation has increased significantly in India from 39.1 million copies in 2006 to 62.8 million copies in 2016. In 2015 newspaper circulation grew by 12% in India whereas it fell in almost every other major media market.
The table above depicts the growth of circulation from 2013 to 2015. As evident, India registered as significant growth in circulation during the specified period whereas all other countries depicted in the table witnessed a decline in circulation.
Some of the factors that have accelerated India’s thriving newspaper market are:
The growing literacy rate in India has led to the increase in circulation of newspapers
Economic development has also helped the newspaper industry as the number of Indians who can afford and read newspapers has increased over the years
For many serious readers, the digital news platforms cannot substitute the look and feel of a printed newspaper
In a country where internet access cannot be guaranteed all the time, printed newspapers offer the advantage of reliability
In contrast with what the West is facing, advertising remains the main source of revenue for Indian newspapers
The significant number of regional newspapers and their increasing circulation has also helped the newspaper industry in India
India’s print media is likely to continue to witness significant growth compared to other major democracies because its population is growing and it has not yet achieved universal literacy. However, gradually it is likely to steadily lose ground to digital media.
The top ten newspapers in India by circulation are listed in the table below.
From the analysis done in this project it is obvious that digitization has embraced the economy and that the rise of digital media is unstoppable. Some of the benefits that digital media offers cannot are incomparable to other media platforms.
At the beginning of this project, there were a number of questions to be answered regarding users preferences as well as the impact of digitization on the print media industry. Through the preparation of this project all of the questions listed as part of the objectives have been answered.
Print media may not be as popular as it used to be thirty years ago or even ten years ago but it is definitely not dying. Readers use digital media and print media to satisfy different needs. Digital media to satisfy the need to access information more easily and to have a platform to voice their thoughts and opinions and print media to have a reliable and trustworthy source of information as well as to satisfy the need to have a physical touch and feel aspect of a newspaper in this digitally inclined world.
One of the main features of digital media that has impacted digital media is the availability of current information 24×7 online in an easily accessible form. To fight this challenge many print media companies have launched digital news applications and websites, but this has affected the revenue income of these companies as digital news outlets allow users to read the news for free, unlike physical newspapers and magazines that readers have to buy. Print media companies are being forced to look for alternative revenue sources by diversifying into functions other than their core business and also expanding their existing business by investing in more software and other technology.
Advertising was one of the main revenue sources for print media companies, but with the availability of online advertising, print advertising has taken a hit in many economies. Countries such as the US and UK have seen a steady decline in print advertising revenues as more and more businesses lean towards digital advertising due to its global reach and low advertising cost. However, developing economies such as India, that have lower literacy rates and lesser number of people who have access to the Internet, when compared to developing economies, print media is till growing and revenues have been increasing at steady pace. Whether this growth will continue over the years or will digital media take over print media like it has in other countries, is still a debatable question but as of today, print media continues to have a strong hold on the Indian economy.
Local Journalism – published by I.B Tauris and Co. Ltd. In association with the Reuters Institute for the study of Journalism, University of Oxford
Transition to Digital Journalism – Paul Brabowicz, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
Riding the New Wave of Digital Growth – Report published by EY
Digital Media is Now – Prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopersAs the media industry evolves the business model becomes the message – Forbes
Entertainment and Media Outlook Report – Prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers
Infographics from the World Economic Forum