As a firm specializing in market research and data analysis through surveys, feasibility studies, and polls, among others, we hope to bring valuable insights through today’s article as we focus on the effects of the digital information, communication and technology (ICT) industry.
The shift towards digital media and social media had been a long-coming trend, but the recent COVID-19 pandemic accelerated its enforcement. With more people working and socializing remotely, the demand for printed media has decreased even further. The rise of digital media and technology led to the transformation of the way people access news and entertainment. This has forced the industry to adapt and explore new ways to stay competitive, such as investing in digital platforms and / or developing new revenue streams.
According to recent data from Statistics Botswana, the number of printed non-dailies (e.g. weekly papers) had gone down by a further 3.5% in 2021, after a sharp decline of 44.1% recorded in 2020. While the number of printed dailies remained stable in 2021, the decline in non-dailies is a worrying trend that has potential implications for jobs in the industry.
As the demand for printed media continues to decline, this puts pressure on the industry and leads to reductions in production and sales. An annual survey by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Service revealed that in 2020 Newspaper Publishers revenue dropped by an estimated 52.0%; while estimated revenue for Periodical Publishing, which includes magazines, fell by 40.5%. In addition, estimated Video Tape and Disc Rental revenue decreased by 88.5%. It is recorded that in one of the major video rental stores closed shop until there was only one store remaining. This, translates into job losses as a smaller workforce is needed to produce and distribute printed materials.
The decline in printed non-dailies is just one aspect of the industry, but it is a significant one as non-dailies typically generate a significant portion of advertising revenue that supports the industry.
However, it is not just the industry that is feeling the impact of these changes. The potential job losses that could result from a decline in printed media sales would have ripple effects across the wider economy. affecting not just the individuals who lose their jobs but also the businesses that rely on the industry for advertising or other services.
There are some positive signs, such as the rise in advertising magazines issued once a week. This suggests that there is still demand for print media in some areas and that the industry may be able to adapt and find new opportunities in certain niches. However, the overall trend is clear, and the industry must continue to adapt and evolve in order to remain relevant and sustainable in the long term.
In conclusion, the decline in printed non-dailies is a worrying trend that has implications for jobs in the print media industry. While the industry must continue to adapt and explore new ways to stay competitive, it is important that governments and other stakeholders also consider ways to support the industry and the workers who rely on it. This is not just about saving jobs, but also about ensuring that we maintain a diverse and vibrant media landscape that serves the needs of all members of society.
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