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How has publishing changed in the digital era?

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Hot Topics explores how publishing has changed in the digital era.


For a long time the future of publishing has been in question.

News publishing has had to evolve continuously as the digital age has progressed, moving on from hot metal typesetting to digital layouts and online-only publications.

Books too have begun their slow transition from crinkled summer novels and hardbound academic texts to Kindles and other e-readers.

The transition from print media to online publications has not been as quick or as total as many initially predicted, with a handful of newspapers resolutely sticking to their guns as print-only publications, including Private Eye in the UK, which despite it’s archaic traditions has actually seen an increase in it’s readership over the last decade.

And while e-readers are certainly popular, traditional booksellers still operate profitable bookstores around the world.

One of the major boundaries that has affected how publishing has changed and hindered the newspaper’s trudge into the digital sphere, is that online ads do not bring in anywhere near as much revenue as the old print adverts used to, regardless of astronomical traffic.

This has not stopped the Daily Mail cashing in with their clickbait model, The Mail Online, that has seen it gain around 1.7 million readers a day according to the above infographic.

Other news models in the digital age include crowd sourced platforms like Crowdnews which plans to disrupt the existing publishers by taking out the existing chain of command and replacing it with citizen journalists who can charge whatever they like for their work.

The digital conversion of books seems to have more tangible success with the incredible uptake of the Amazon Kindle and other e-readers such as the models produced by Kobo.

Publishers evidently favor the digital platform for books as they lose less money from books being shared between individuals than before.

The move to e-readers has also democratized publishing to an extent, with self-publishing easier and cheaper now than ever before.

To find out more about how publishing has changed in the digital era, check out the above infographic.


Research conducted by companydebt.com, the business debt advice providers.