It’s very hard to believe that many innovative and refined technologies have dramatically changed and override the existing platform of its own, but it’s true. Although we love our glossy and tangible paper, the decline of print circulation within newspapers and magazines are the results of today’s rapidly growing digital. Therefore several impacts have aroused at this modern age due to Digital Growth and many ancient technologies are in the phase of disappearance and dying. So it has become a great issue on today’s date: how can we overcome the impacts created by Digital Growth on Print Growth, and promote together for the sustainable development of both.
Obviously, Both Digital Growth and Print Growth are very essential on today’s date to maintain and build sound audience as well as producing content that is more engaging and relevant, however both of them have their own pros and cons, we can’t ignore.
Reading from print publications offers a sensory and memorable experience as we go through physical interactions like thumbing through pages; writing notes and highlighting passages, but finally it will be ours forever once bought. In contrary, some may even have leisurely experience as you fold page corners to save and earmark your favorite articles, cutting newspaper clippings, flipping from page to page and digesting slowly. However, the problem with this is that once you’ve tucked that important clipping away into folder, you are more likely to forget about it.
But in the case of digital publication, true beauty lies on sharing your favorite articles to spark discussions on social networks and communities that creates a much higher reader engagement, social sharing and community, ad-serving flexibility, tracking and analytics, high readership interaction and feedback. However, continuous shifting of newspapers and magazines from print to digital creates a rapid fluctuation in the pace of communication, shorter attention spans, online plagiarism, Optimization costs, and many more.
Similarly the overall print circulation fell 4% year on year according to the UK Audit Bureau of Circulation and the National Readership Survey 2016 demonstrated the consumption from mobile and online adds a further 107% audience reach to individual news brands and 68% for magazines. So in such a situation, it has become a great challenge and issues to put forward our strategies and plan for the promotion of both Digital growth and Print growth in a developing country like Nepal as whole world is shifting towards digital growth than on print growth.
But the case and vision is different of our’s when KMG Chairman and Managing Director Kailash Sirohiya told digital growth and print growth will exist in Nepal for long time during Kantipur Publications celebrated its 24th anniversary on Feb 18, 2017 Saturday. It may surprise most of us but its true fact. He told that Print is dying; digital is no savior so we all have to work together to promote it. Now the case is similar as the ship is sinking and the lifeboats are too small to carry but a handful of the imperiled passengers. That’s the true reality of newspapers in 2017 and to pretend otherwise ignores the challenge we face. So, now we all find itself in a rare situation: prudent expansion of its legacy products must be managed in parallel with the explosive, disruptive growth of digital.
Digital disruption is a customer-driven reality. Therefore, it is most appropriate to respond to it in a consumer-centric manner. Print, Web, Mobile etc are all form factors that the reader chooses to use so as media companies to meet consumer’s interest, but we are handling this reality quite pragmatically.
Kailash Sirohiya told print media are still growing in Nepal, quite opposite to the trend in western counties. This growth is due to our geographic diversity, landscapes, mostly suburban and rural. But newspaper especially English-Language have relied on readers in the cities, who supposedly have more spending power. So our approach has been to focus on the readers we serve and cater to their needs as best as possible. By doing so, we can keep our balance between all stakeholders-readers, advertisers, employees, agents (both advertising and distribution), newsprint suppliers etc.
Furthermore, expectations of readers are also not dramatically different, they only expect us to inform them reliably, credibly and in a manner that appeals to them. So our approaches have to be in reader preferences to understand their needs and do our best to serve them as best as possible through both print and digital growth.
Similarly, social media is simply another way in which readers communicate with us and with one another. Now, every single reader is capable to express their voice through social media and their feedbacks are significant to setup our strategies. So always communicate with clients. Sometimes, it is very significant as well during loss of control of your content and brand, particularly when algorithmic changes by technology companies always loom.
We love our glossy paper but our reality is digital. So how can we keep our content alive and relevant? What factors do we need to think about as we decide how to invest in our magazine’s future? Sadly as our news is concerned, all digital revenues are hogged by “intermediaries” who don’t really create any content, but have the eyeballs that seek content. So, if this trend continues, then it would be a very long and potentially expensive transition for us.
Kailash Sirohiya told our main focus now is on delivering high-quality content that reader really wants in a manner that the reader really enjoys, so we would be able to tap revenue streams from a range of stakeholders. Furthermore, he is quite optimistic that Nepal’s economic growth would lead within a next few years so that both physical infrastructure and technological/communication infrastructure will continue to leapfrog and help to promote both print and digital growth in Nepal.