new normal

Did you realize that of late, especially in the last 3 months, you have consumed content more by going online than by actually reading printed newspapers or magazines? As we can see, COVID-19 has changed our content consumption pattern. The interactions with content are now beyond its physical form.

While the publishing industry has evolved at a languid pace over the last decade, COVID-19 has enforced a radical disruption. In these tough times, when people were (many places still are) restricted to their homes, content creators have ensured a steady flow of information, art, and even gossip material for their audience to binge on. Likewise, newspapers, books, and magazines played their part in providing enough intellectual, thought-provoking content. Publishers have quickly responded to different types of content requirements and have supported in every way. Journalists and publications have ensured that readers get the latest news, book publishers have gone online to support home-schooling. Some organizations even took off paywalls to allow free access, while some others went hyper-local to help people stay in touch.

COVID-19 has presented many challenges for each segment of the publishing value chain. Here’s an example: With the sheer volume and variety of content being created, ratifying and fact-checking was a big challenge, and new ways of distribution had to be considered.

Changes in the publishing industry and consumer behavior

With the crisis slowly becoming manageable, the restrictions will be lifted sooner or later. But it’s safe to say that the change in consumer behavior is here to stay.

If we take an example of content consumption during pre-COVID-19, Generation Z or Millennials were the internet era advocates. They clearly prefer digital technology for consuming content anytime, anywhere, and on multiple devices. With reduced newspaper circulations, closed bookstores, and limited availability of print editions – Gen X and baby boomers too got aligned to this. Even generation alpha is not left untouched, with schools taking remote classes and playgrounds being replaced by online media or books!

The many years of plummeting ad revenues, along with COVID-19 challenges, indicate testing times for the print industry, making it ponder whether this will be the new normal. Many publishing houses had to suspend their print editions or slash the page count either temporarily or indefinitely. The widening gap between revenues and overheads has made companies rethink their strategies to thrive in this dissimilar landscape.

Continue writing

by Devangi Gupta, Nagarro

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