Online news websites killing off newspapers, print turns to pop-ups

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New Delhi | Updated: July 8, 2016 8:04:17 AM

Newspapers have been facing stiff competition from online news websites and more recently from Facebook and Twitter.

Newspapers have been facing stiff competition from online news websites and more recently from Facebook and Twitter.Newspapers have been facing stiff competition from online news websites and more recently from Facebook and Twitter.

Newspapers have been facing stiff competition from online news websites and more recently from Facebook and Twitter.

The mobile and internet revolution has led to some newspapers completely shutting down their print businesses and moving the whole machinery online, while others juggle between online and print models.

Now, UK-based newspaper and magazine publishing company Archant is exploring a new channel or pop-up newspapers. The company announced it would release the first issue of its pop-up newspaper “The New European” this week to cater to 48% of the population that voted to remain within the European Union (EU).

The New European would be a weekly newspaper with four editions, for the time being, critiquing the media and politicians who supported the “Leave” cause.

The pop-up aims to give readers the low-down on a specific subject, presenting the facts and its opinion. Although papers do cater for the varying interests of their readers with special sections for, say, Budget coverage or elections, the idea of a special publication to capture audience interest with just one theme is a new one. The model allows a publishing house to capture the attention of readers who want information and perspective on a particular issue — in this case, Brexit — without pivoting from the stand of its parent group.

The fast-changing world of news has urged the few left in the business to constantly innovate to meet the growing consumer needs and cater to market trends, but readership and, most importantly, revenues have been shrinking. India has not been untouched by this revolution even though newspapers still remain a preferred medium given that only 27% of the population has internet access and the country still has languages that internet is yet to discover. A Ficci-KPMG report, “The Future: Now Streaming”, highlights that advertising revenues could see a paradigm shift with the share of print shrinking to 28.8% by 2020 from 47.5% in 2010 as digital channels become more popular. Pop-up newspapers may be the answer to print’s woes. What remains to be seen is whether readers take to them or block them out.

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