As of last Thursday - or May 21st, UK National Newspapers no longer need to make their print circulations public through auditors ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulations). We already know that Newspaper sales have dropped significantly since the onset of Coronavirus, but with the mandate lifted, we may never properly know to what degree those figures have declined.
It used to be that Print Figures and Print Advertising were two of the main drivers for news publishers - to an extent that Digital media and advertising was often bundled into ’Print Packages’ for free or a nominal figure. In the early days digital media was downplayed as a reduced service to a degree - where in real terms metering and paywalls are actually a relatively recent development.
Yet as more and more people have shifted to working from home - this means less daily commutes - and therefore less opportunity to pick up and read a paper en-route. This new era of Covid-19 has shown as that for a stay-at-home workforce - that the digital medium reigns supreme - and more and more news consumers switch to more convenient digital means.
The printed paper is a handy format for accompanying your train or tube journey into work - but the nature of print means that you’re essentially reading old news by the time you get the paper. With considerably less commuting expected in the future as more and more companies take up remote and home-working alternatives to office-based businesses - we can only see the print medium declining further, unfortunately.
The devastation which Covid is wreaking on the printed news media can be seen with News Corp’s announcement to end over 100 of it’s printed newspapers in Australia, and this is just the tip of the iceberg with the vast majority of B2B print publications suspended over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The key metrics are now the overall level of audience engagement and interaction across all platforms. With smart digital systems you can properly track every customer activity and engagement and more finely target their interests.
So while there are many who rightly mourn this change in status, most of the world is busy moving forwards and with the increase in 4G & 5G, and broadband availability on key commuting routes - there is less need to be prepared in advance - and more chance of accessing live real-time news and media feeds.
Leading with Digital and focusing on packaged multi-channel ad offerings has delivered the best growth for the Affino media client community. We’ve watched the majority of our customers successfully take-on and leverage their relative position to the Coronavirus - with higher degrees of engagement through dedicated Topic Hubs.
Now is the time to advance your digital services, develop meaningful subscription and membership offerings for your audiences, and make yourself more accessible and relevant to the increasing legion of the work from home workforce.