Digital And Print Media; Enough Room For Both?

Estimated Reading Time 6 minutes

With the impending change to one of the UK’s most popular tabloids ‘The Independent’ going digital towards the end of March, it will give yet another insight into how national papers could make a successful run of serving their content online. After seeing the Suns venture into launching a strictly online newspaper fail so miserably, there is no danger of print being wiped out, The Independent however would have learnt from their mistakes, and could open some pretty significant doors if they are successful. If it makes financial sense for a national newspaper such as the Independent to go out of print, then it would be fairly safe to assume that the powers that be within other media empires will be considering their options, or at least keeping a close eye on the outcome of The Independent’s digital venture.

What Is The Digital Attraction?

Through putting the newspaper online they are already eliminating one of the most expensive costs; printing and distribution. The logistics involved in running a daily paper physically are also a headache that will no longer be needed (although hosting and running a site on the scale of a national newspaper are a different headache entirely).

One of the more desirable features of running a piece of media that’s objective is to inform the masses online however; real-time, up-to-the-minute news. As a physical newspaper you only have the ability to inform your readers on the previous day’s news, updating people strictly on a daily basis for any further developments. Through serving your content to readers online it allows up to the minute reporting and updates, as well as other media snippets such as audio interviews, images, or videos.


An aspect of the transition that is much more accurate and has the ability to be incredibly more effective than physical print is the targeting options that digital will give them. These options they have for targeting aren’t just in terms of ads (more on that to come), but in terms of the vast quantity of metrics that any subscription based online platform can hold. Read articles, comments, specific interest, ages, locations, device, and even mobile network can all be catered towards delivering that person specific content or a certain user experience that will be desirable to them.


The online model will give advertisers more accurate formats of serving ads than physical, and offer a much more accurate means of recording ROI and effectiveness of ads. The success of Wired magazine’s online ad revenue contributing to over 50% of their overall advertising income has made people stand up and take note. Advertisers will be able to serve ads in a similar way to how normal PPC works, easily being able to pinpoint their target audience by content, reading habits, as well as user data gathered from the subscription based service as a whole. The advantage of online is also the various formats in which advertisers choose to implement their ads, coming in the form of text ads, banners, videos, or audio, digital ads will also offer advertisers the benefit of re-marketing.

The transition will have a lot of eyes closely drawn to it. The opportunity’s seem limitless – many revenue streams available from subscription fees, advertising revenue, and audience data, as well as having so many potential new clients who were unable to work with them before; small business will be a big winner in this, with more accessible, feasible costs in online advertising than print.

There is no danger of digital blowing print out of the water anytime soon, with the right strategy and high quality journalism however, the scales could start to eventually even out. To find out about opportunities in online advertising Digital Clarity can offer you, including social media and Google/Bing PPC campaigns, contact one of the team today.

Nick Blane
Nick is a recent graduate of Music and Live Events Management from Bucks New University in High Wycombe. Though his business background centred within the music industry, his exposure and involvement in marketing and social media engagement for brands, helped him take a more holistic approach and apply his connection of digital with sociology along with his entrepreneurial skills.