Digital plays a pivotal role these days

SM Dutt
SM Dutt

It has been quite a fact that the pandemic has accelerated the growth and importance of digital platforms in many sectors. It holds true in the news media sector too. The role that digital platforms play had never been as big as it is today. When most of the industry conferences and trade shows have been cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic, it is the virtual format that becomes an alternative and ultimate choice. This is how the industry adopts digital platforms during the disruptive time.

These days, every one of us is quite used to attending webinar sessions, live-stream events or pre-recorded content straight from our homes or offices. More companies are restructuring their events to offer engagement-driving experiences that extend beyond a computer screen. This is how digital plays a bigger and pivotal role these days. This however doesn’t mean losing of the importance of the onsite events and conferences.

As the market is now opening up gradually after an unexpected recovery from the long pandemic lockdowns, many companies are re-focusing on bringing back the normalcy which we had in the pre-pandemic time. For example, the World News Media Congress 2021 has been set to be a physical event, now scheduled to be held at Taipei, capital city of Taiwan, in September. The organizers of the global event believe that the Taipei edition of the congress will bring back the thrill of physical event which everybody missed in 2020.

Despite the pandemic disruption still lingering in the market, some newspaper groups in India, which publish language dailies, claim that they have achieved almost 90 percent of pre-pandemic circulation levels. Alongside their continuous improvement in circulation figures, they reveal that their advertising revenues have also been reclaiming the year-on-year pre-pandemic levels. Their expectation is that they will surely regain all their losses in circulations and advertisements as soon as the market gains its full normalcy.

A sad thing in the Indian market is the rising of newsprint cost which eventually hampered the effort of printed newspapers who are struggling to recover from the pandemic slowdown. However, industry experts observe that it would be a short to medium term situation. But when we look at the brighter side, corporate companies who faced severe cash squeeze during the peak lockdown times and hid in closets for a long time, have now come out as they realize the importance of structuring for a sprint effort, especially in brand promotions to recover the business they lost during the lockdowns. So, now is the right time for news media companies to pull up socks!

When the pandemic reminds us of our fragility, it also demonstrates how strong we are to overcome the disruptive market situation. More or less, we are finally brought together to unite for a new revival and courage!

SM Dutt

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