As of the end of March, the Independent will become the first online only UK national UK newspaper.
In the past 12 months the independent’s website has had a monthly audience increase by 33.3% to almost 70 million unique users across the world. The site is projected to have a growth of 50% this year in terms of revenue.
The owner of Independent, Evgeny Lebedev stated that the industry as a whole is changing and this is due to the readers embracing the new digital age. “They’re showing us the future is digital. This decision preserves the Independent brand and allows us to continue to invest in the high quality editorial content.”
The Independent has been known in the past to pioneer different methods in the industry. It was the first UK based national newspaper to create a sister brand paper in the form of the i and became the first to go from broadsheet to compact.
While the Independent is set to only be available in digital form soon, the i newspaper, a subsidiary of The Independent, will continue in print. The i has been confirmed to be sold to Johnston Press by owner ESI Media provided Johnston Press shareholders approve.
Why is it news worthy?
This story is very much one of the biggest stories in terms of the continual evolution of the journalism industry as a whole. Print has been continuing to become less and less relevant in comparison to the growing online and on demand culture.
In the 21st century news is immediate and people want to know about it immediately. Print isn’t able to provide that, whereas as soon as a story breaks it can be online within minutes.
As technology has advanced in recent years people have become more and more invested in digital content and providing online services and has ingrained itself in our culter (as Obama showed with his new proposed technology based scheme involving gaming). Everything is now available to be done over the internet: talking to friends, shopping and now naturally reading the news.
This is the first of what will likely become the norm is years to come as print becomes less and less relevant and loses out to the demand of online content.
This is a first for the print industry in the UK showing a clear sign of the rapid change the industry is facing. With publications such as The LAD bible becoming very popular in their online only format and the BBC’s highly visited news site its makes sense to focus entirely on online content, especially with the falling sales of physical papers.
The independent becomes the first national newspaper to embrace a global, digital-only future
Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/the-independent-becomes-the-first-national-newspaper-to-embrace-a-global-digital-only-future-a6869736.html [Accessed 22nd February 2016]
Greenslade, R. (2016)
Another first for the Independent as it plots a digital-only future
Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2016/feb/12/another-first-for-the-independent-as-it-plots-a-digital-only-future [Accessed 24th February 2016)
Independent to cease as print edition
Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35561145 [Accessed 24th February 2016)