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Print Media shifting colours: The journey from physical to digital

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The recent pandemic and the advent of Industry 4.0 has helped CIOs to shift their mind-set towards adoption of technology into core business processes across industries. Recent innovation in technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) has helped organizations to enhance their end-customer experience and boost revenue while reducing workforce errors and dependency.

Consumers are moving to digital experiences for all their needs. And it is not any different when it comes to news consumption. The print industry relied heavily on their print consumption as it was their key revenue generator. But the rise of COVID changed it all. The world faced a complete lockdown with zero print supply and people had to move to their smartphones for their daily dose of news.

Since then, the print industry has seen a sharp decline in their print sales. Even the advertisement revenue started bleeding slowly. Print organizations moved to digital channels to retain their customers and advertisers. Digital channels such as web news, google cards, daily updates, Facebook news, and news app were some of the options that gained a lot of momentum. These new channels have also resulted in creation of new jobs.

Today, news is not just about disseminating information, but also about customer experience. It is about delivering the news with customer’s comfort and convenience in mind. With platforms such as Facebook Live, newsrooms are being converted into chatrooms, to understand and gather customer reaction and feedback. With media focussing more on human interface, people are engaging more than ever before through these platforms. This mix of digital delivery and real-time customer engagement has resulted in creation of trends such as mobile journalism, integrated newsroom, convergence media, and citizen journalism.

The dynamics of news consumption are evolving too. The channels are not restricted to newspaper and magazines anymore. It is diversified from newspapers to YouTube videos and podcasts; and from news channels to OTT platforms. This evident diversity along with the adoption of technology is not only indicative of a new wave of change but also opens up an array of new opportunities for the millennials.

The print media is on the right track of moving ahead with time and providing customers with a digital medium to consume their news. This is just the beginning and it’s a long road ahead in terms of creating a wider digital footprint with rural penetration, integration with other web apps, and creating online real-estate to attract advertisers.

The change has already begun and the pandemic has just accelerated the development. Most importantly, it’s time for the print industry to experiment with different content formats, and social media lead strategies.  Now is the time to test the propensity of the consumer to pay for exclusive content or to test out new ideas to increase customer engagement and deliver a rich customer experience.

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