The media landscape continues to evolve dramatically with the emergence of growing distribution of tablets, smartphones, watches and notebooks, as well as the growth of new internet providers and network providers such as Google, Facebook, YouTube and Apple. The interactive content boom has tested conventional media outlets such as newspapers in a plethora of respects. The integration of diverse media and communication systems has changed trends of news consumption and behaviour. The print media industry faces an unprecedented challenge as emerging digital technologies transform the preferences of readers and advertisers. This paper addresses the prospects of newspapers in the aftermath of digitisation. The Future of Newspapers
The print newspaper industry faces several challenges, which might be responsible for the closure of many companies. Eriksson et al. (8) claim that most organizations have failed to innovate successful digital news services, which align with the consumer’s willingness to pay for content as the subscriptions for print newspapers continues to decline markedly (Corredoira & Sanjay 139). Second, advertiser revenues have decreased significantly as the print industry loses advertiser acceptance of digital channels. Additionally, as social media actors such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat as well as the leading search engines including Google, Apple, and Microsoft become outlets for digital news, the print players are likely to leave the markets (Eriksson et al. 11). The young generation spends a great deal of their time interacting with digital news publishers such as social media and search engines (Corredoira and Sanjay 143). This challenge has seen many newspaper firms file for bankruptcy in the past half a decade.
The newspaper industry serves a two-sided market, which entails readers and advertisers. Corredoira and Sanjay (142) argue that as much as the organizations intend to explore new opportunities in digital media, the uncertainty of readers’ and advertisers’ perceptions of value in the emerging new media ecosystem poses challenges.
The evolution towards ubiquitous media environments is likely to render the traditional media industry irrelevant. The permanent establishment of digital technology, increased mobility, changing information consumption behaviors, and advertising patterns and the digital convergence represent the radical changes crippling the newspaper industry (Corredoira & Sanjay 145). The authors add that the need to print and circulate newspapers is decreasing as mobile news consumption increases and advertisers opt for digital media, which offer more accurate and targeted advertising services (147). The newspaper industry is unlikely to attract the youth to read their content owing to the features of ubiquitous media. Eriksson et al. (16) add that ubiquitous information environments provide the young generation with an infrastructure layer that enables seamless distribution of services, anytime, and anywhere and adaptable to the user context. The principal users of digital media include the youth, who consume news depending on their settings (Eriksson et al. 19). Newspapers will not provide this group of readers with an opportunity to interact with the multitude of interconnected devices, contextual circumstances, and available resources.
The newspaper industry faces a tough challenge as digital news competes for the same markets. The future is even bleaker as news consumption behaviors and patterns continue to change rapidly. The evolution of ubiquitous media has emphasized the need for users to access information, interact, and share with sources as well as groups. The biggest challenge facing the future of newspapers is to develop a network of connectivity that will allow users to read and share news on their networks. It is worth noting that the internet has brought many actors who provide interactive news and offer hustle-free advertising, thus, rendering newspapers out of business.
Corredoira, Loreto, & Sanjay, Sood. “Meeting New Readers in the Transition to Digital Newspapers: Lessons from the Entertainment Industry”. The Professional of Information, vol. 24, no. 2, 2015, pp. 138-148.
Eriksson, Carina, Ihlström, Maria, Åkesson, & Jesper, Lund. “Designing Ubiquitous Media Services – Exploring the Two-Sided Market of Newspapers”. Journal of Theoretical & Applied Electronic Commerce Research, vol. 11, no. 3, 2016, pp. 1-19.