Digital Subscription Systems in the Face of COVID-19 Crisis: The Case of ‘El Mundo’
AbstractThe aim of this article is to analyse the impact of COVID-19 on the income models of the Spanish general interest press through an in-depth analysis of the case of ‘El Mundo’. This article shows data about the decline in advertising, both in printed and digital formats, during the first quarter of 2020 and, more specifically, during March. It also reveals that the media platforms with a previously implemented subscription system have gained a significant number of new registrations. Not only is ‘El Mundo’ an example of this trend, but also other newspapers such as ‘Eldiario.es’, ‘Ara’, ‘La Razón’ or ‘La Voz de Galicia’. The reader becomes an alternative to lessen advertising losses at a time of global transformation of the industry towards reader-revenue models. Long-term consequences of a probable economic recession once the pandemic effects are reduced are also considered in the analysis. The article also outlines some key points to ensure the viability of newspaper publishers, such as investing in journalists with relevant sources or profiles that know how to manage new digital businesses. Keywords: COVID-19, press, business, subscriptions and advertising.
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