Print media continues to bear brunt of COVID-19 lockdown
Dimapur, June 24 (EMN): Despite the respite from the COVID lockdown that forced some publication houses to temporarily halt production, the print media continues to be affected by the change in behaviour of consumers, which is reflected in the decline in newspaper circulation.
This was observed by Utkarsh Arora, Head of Subscriber Experience and Retention, The Economic Times.
Addressing a webinar on “How to build subscription models for sustainable journalism” organised by Google News Initiative India Data Leads on Friday, Arora asserted that too much reliance on advertisements affects a newspaper principally because of the transition to the subscription economy; also because freedom of press is important in a country like India.
While acknowledging the challenges of transitioning to the subscription economy over conflicting goal between advertisements and subscription, he said that it was important to build relationship with the readers instead of focusing on advertisers.
Reiterating why transitioning from advertisements to subscription was not easy, he said subscription is the epicentre for a newspaper, which is why it is fundamental to bring quality, research and unbiased news to the readers and the subscribers.
Stressing on strategy decisions for news subscriptions, he said that it is imperative to identify the target audience and experiment with the paywall strategy, which includes types of paywall, trail strategy and conversion rate.
“The demography of focus on content is going to evolve so the focus should be on the content market and customer base so that it is worth paying for, for the subscribers,” said Arora.
As the media is fighting for content while YouTube is time consuming, he suggested ensuring that a reader does not drop an article from reading but instead continue to read more stories; to make the content and communication strongly relevant.
He also suggested considering paywall as a membership strategy while figuring out what the audience want.