As more people stay at home to work and become a part of the ZOOM and GoToMeeting teleconferencing trend, digital news sites, both large legacy sites and hyper-local publications are experiencing a surge in readership as well as a sustained following as more readers move from print to digital.
“The number of minutes spent by readers at (digital) news sites increased 46 percent from the same period ending a few days ago last year, and overall visits rose 57 percent, according to a study of more than a dozen general news websites by comScore, a media measurement company. “ - Marc Tracy, The New York Times. SOURCE: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/10/business/media/news-media-coronavirus-jobs.html
Additionally, hyper-local multi-media sites like SignalsAZ.com of Prescott Valley, Arizona have seen a surge in online readership during the corona outbreak. Moreover, the hyper-local website has experienced sustained growth over the last 2-1/2 consecutive years since its inception. Signals AZ is now the leading multimedia site in central Arizona averaging over 4.0 Million per year, for the year April 20, 2020.
“There are some very interesting things going on in the digital marketplace and up here in central Arizona. First, our sustained growth is testament to a the fact that more and more are shifting to digital. Although we already knew this, our demographics tell us the average age of our reader is 50+ years old, mirroring our region’s demographics. So anyone that says seniors aren’t online, think again. And, it’s 70% mobile.
Additionally, we see print publications retracting while digital publications are vying for readers - even to the point of certain digital publishers misstating their readership numbers to the public. Maybe they are not aware that those numbers are verifiable via 3rd party software companies. Who knows? All that we know is that we are now the ranking site in central Arizona, proof that positivity works.” - Guy Roginson, Executive Editor, Talking Glass Media, SignalsAZ.com, TG Magazine.
As digital surges, print continues to waffle, especially the local papers. Case in point, the Daily Courier of Prescott, Arizona which recently published online a request for readers to “donate” to help support continued publication during the Corona Virus event while also stating they are pausing their Saturday and Monday editions of their print publication.
“From 2008 to 2019, overall newsroom employment in the U.S. dropped by 23%, according to the new analysis. In 2008, there were about 114,000 newsroom employees – reporters, editors, photographers and videographers – in five industries that produce news: newspaper, radio, broadcast television, cable and “other information services” (the best match for digital-native news publishers). By 2019, that number had declined to about 88,000, a loss of about 27,000 jobs.” - Elizabeth Grieco, Pew Research, April 20, 2020. SOURCE: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/04/20/u-s-newsroom-employment-has-dropped-by-a-quarter-since-2008/
“70% of respondents to a recent study by content experience platform BlueToad have reported concerns about their safety or the safety of their family due to reading a physical print magazine, journal, or newspaper during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Here are the key takeaways from the survey.
- 77% of people are concerned about themselves or their family’s safety when handling mail or other deliveries
- 70% of people reported similar concerns when reading a delivered print magazine, journal, catalog or newspaper
- 53% of people now want to hear more from the brands they trust during these uncertain times
- 54% of people are more likely to consume digital content over print while practicing social distancing “
— Adam Rowe, Forbes Magazine, Online. SOURCE: https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamrowe1/2020/03/31/coronavirus-concerns-may-push-consumers-towards-digital-magazines-and-away-from-print/
Regardless of your preference, it looks like digital is here to stay, and growing.