Brand Republic reports that a Deloitte survey conducted in association with the UK Association of Online Publishers polled thirty UK Publishing firms about their opinions on the future of digital publishing. Results revealed that 70% of the publishers did not perceive online content as a threat to print. Digital revenue generation is currently averaging 17%, primarily because of growth in advertising spending. With increasing online popularity, the study foresees that digital activity would contribute 40% to revenues for newspapers by 2012.
The study found that print is still regarded as “an efficient and valued means of consumption” and blogs and forums are an important component to building communities of readers. Mark Lee-Amies, media partner at Deloitte, said, “Publishers no longer see the digital world as a threat to traditional print publishing, and believe that it can complement rather than threaten their print products.” The roles of digital directors are also becoming increasingly more powerful and on an equal plane with editors and marketing directors.
In conjunction with the findings, The Guardian has become the first UK national newspaper to implement a “news online first” policy for its business and foreign news sections. The Financial Times is also restructuring their print and web program to “gear up for the digital age.” Polled publishers felt that the key attributes of a successful digital business strategy were, in order, content, understanding consumer needs, and finally infrastructure and flexibility, while the BBC, The Guardian, and Amazon have played a key role in shaping the industry.