Direct Your Publishing Revenue to Digital: No More Dependency on Print Revenues


Do you think print and digital cannot work together?

The print media industry is facing an uphill struggle due to the surging demand and popularity of digital platforms as well as resources. According to the Statista report, the revenue of newspaper publishers in the US from the year 2010 to 2019, has been consistently experiencing a downfall. However, if we look on the brighter side, the print media has become slow but it is not dead yet, suggests Forbes. Also, according to PRNewswire, by 2025, the Global Commercial Printing Market is projected to reach up to 460.28 billion USD, with a CAGR of 2.24%

Considering the facts, we can say that, though there are a lot of challenges for the print media industry, abandoning print media completely won’t be a good idea for the publishers. The readers are still not prepared to replace all of their print publications with computer screens. So, it’s better to keep it alive and working. You can use it as an add-on to your digital publishing business.   

Digitalization is rising at a huge pace with each passing day, owing to its convenience and availability, especially, in this tough time like the pandemic, when people are bounded to follow the shelter in place orders. From basic needs to feeding knowledge to their brains, people are dependent on digital means for things. This has led to the surge in digital traffic, creating scope for better digital revenue. Hence, merely digitalizing and reinventing yourself once won’t just do- the future of publishing work belongs to those who are continually emphasizing.

Approximately 60% of publishers are expecting more than 30% subscription growth this year, and the remaining 28% of that are anticipating 50%.- Digital Media Europe 2020

You need to be digitally sustainable. Korn Ferry Institute, a global organizational consulting firm that serves in more than 50 countries, released a Digital Sustainability Index in collaboration with Oxford Analytica. The index talks about 5 dimensions the publishers should consider to remain digitally sustainable. 

  • Agility
  • You should opt for an agile approach to always be ready for the change. For this, you should be quicker in decision-making, as well as plan execution.

  • Connectivity 
  • Make sure you are consistently collaborating with the internal and external stakeholders as well as readers. 

  • Discipline and Focus 
  • Never forget to be disciplined in your work. Make sure you and your team understand the true meaning of ‘digital’ and have a feasible action plan to achieve your target outcome.

  • Empowerment and Alignment 
  • Make sure you have appropriate resources and your actions align with your action plan. This can give the right direction to your action to achieve your goal.

  • Openness and Transparency 
  • Be transparent with your ethics, responsibilities, and practices to your employees so that creativity is promised.

Hence while keeping these dimensions in your mind, you can start digitizing your publishing business. The digital publishing industry works on top 2 priorities- Data and Digital Reader Revenue. Data is what you feed to your reader. You should be aware of your reader’s interest- what they want to hear from you. For this, you can conduct surveys or ask them directly.  Here are some other factors that you should consider while crafting your data-

  • Building your audience personas
  • Design your message around relevant topics that are of interest to your audience.
  • Use digital ads to target your audience.
  • Employ social media to promote your content

The second priority of the publishing industry happens to the Digital Reader Revenue. Digital reader revenue is a business model in which most of the revenue comes from the financial support directly coming from the readers. According to Google, publishers can opt for 6 digital reader revenue models based on their requirements. 

  1. Contribution
  2. Subscription
  3. Membership
  4. Micro-payments
  5. Bundling 
  6. Crowdfunding

Merely incorporating the reader revenue model into the business is not enough, the publishers need to understand that the success of the reader revenue model depends upon the deep understanding of information needs of the readers’, creating a strong value proposition based on the information needs, conveying and imparting that value to the readers, compelling and encouraging those readers to financially support your organization. You also need to nurture your relationship with your readers over the long run. 

For further details, read more-

The Reader Revenue Revolution: 7 ways to grow Digital Subscription

Key Observations and Strategies by the Industry Experts About the Digital Sustenance


  • Less Costlier than Print Media 

  • Print Media has to go through various steps, starting from printing the resource, distribution of the resources, and finally selling it to the customers. Though the process is the same with digital media as well, however, you need not pay for every step. Hence, digital publication proves to be less costly than print media.

  • Less Wastage of Resources 

  • One of the biggest factors that bring a huge difference between digital and print media is the wastage of resources. In the case of the print media, there are events when a few of the copies of the magazine or newspapers remain unsold, hence the resource, time, and money invested in those resources gets wasted. This does not happen with digital media. If the reader does not consume the data, it does not cause that much harm like the print media.

  • No Geographical Barriers

  • Along with the reduction in the distribution cost, the publishers also do not need to worry about geographical barriers. The digital medium offers global exposure to your resources. All you need to do is produce valuable content and promote it effectively over the digital platform. You can promote it through social media, digital ads, and email marketing. 

  • Environment-Friendly

  • Digital media is more environmentally friendly than print media, as there is no paper waste, hence deforestation. This can be a great initiative towards solving many other environmental issues. 

  • More Convenient for the Readers

  • Digital media, being easy to purchase and access, proves to be more convenient for the users than print media. With the availability of smart devices, readers can access digital resources anytime anywhere.  


  • Personalize User Experience

  • The best thing about going digital is that you can personalize the user experience that you cannot do with print media. You can serve them with the data they are interested in, instead of wasting their time on the data not necessary to them.

  • Ads hosting

  • You can increase your revenue by hosting ads in the case of digital media. However, you need to take care of the place where you should place the ad so that it does not annoy the readers. Place your ads in a way that doesn’t appear to like a paid advertisement, instead comes out as a useful piece of information the user cannot avoid.

  • Connect to your Readers 

  • There are various platforms like social media, on which the readers connect and communicate with each other. This conversation can be extremely beneficial for you and your publishing business. Listening to your reader’s conversations carefully can give you a deeper insight into your reader’s opinions about your product. Whether they are liking it or expecting something else, based on which you can bring changes to your strategy and enhance your user experience.

  • Interactive content

  • Content is the most important thing that works in the publishing industry. If you want to stand out in the market, you need to deliver quality in your content and also keep it interactive and engaging. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 77% of marketers state that interactive content, leading to repeating visitors and broader exposures, has a huge reusable value. You can include videos, chat options, or do live streaming for the same. 

Is your Publishing Business Digitally Sustained?

To become digitally sustainable, you should be iterative and informed.

Digital publishing has the potential to create new revenue streams for the publishers, and by now you might have understood why. Print media has given way to digital publishing, empowering the publishers to upgrade their publishing business. 

Though the popularity of digital publishing has reached a new height, whose revenue is expected to reach up to  5,302.7 million U.S. dollars as per Statista, the best way is to improve your publishing business’s revenue make a perfect blend of digital and print publication. Incorporate both types of publications in such a way that your print media works as an add-on for your business. 

You may have adopted some early digital offerings, but it’s time to relook, re-evaluate, improve those offerings, models, and digital platforms.

In case you missed some digital adoption or you want to add innovation based on what the industry is doing – look at digital models & platforms and what suits your customers.

Improve or Innovate – best will be to go and approach experts at Ace Publishing.

Vipul Shah

Vipul Shah

Vipul focuses on leading & nurturing partnerships that makes difference to businesses & internal customers. He totally understands and Speaks ‘Customer First’ language and believes in getting smarter, stronger, goal-oriented, for a bright future.

Vipul Shah