Covid-19 plunged the world into a digital frenzy overnight. The majority of sectors have been forced to rapidly adopt digitalization. Isolated, confined to their homes and unable to go out, the whole country was spending time online, whether to be entertained, educated or stay in touch with loved ones. Amid this nationwide shutdown, e-books, including newspapers, have become the main source of information. According to a Mckinsey report, there has been a decade-plus adoption acceleration for digital and digitally-enhanced offerings, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. Also in India, more and more people are willing to pay for digital media for both infotainment and entertainment, whether it is a one-time purchase model or a subscription model. subscription.
What is the digital edition?
Digital publications are the digital twin of reading material, whether information or entertainment in digital format. Magazines, brochures, catalogs, books, etc. are now available in digital format. These are exclusively for online viewing. Digital publications have the upper hand when it comes to being responsive. Depending on the platform used to read them, they can be adjusted for screen size, font size of your choice, ease of scrolling, and more. Just like picture books, they are also available with videos, images, backlinks, etc. integrated. Many publishers in India are now using digital editions to reach their audience and increase traffic and engagement on their portals.
There are many factors contributing to the growth of the digital publishing industry in India. A few of them are –
- The Internet – The internet has infiltrated almost every aspect of our lives. This connectivity has also accelerated the growth of digital publishing. Internet devices, whether smartphones, e-readers or laptops, are easily accessible and readily available. They can be carried anywhere without the extra effort of carrying. Printed copy of books, magazines or newspapers. Since users are online for various other activities, it makes sense that digital publishing is the next step to meet them where they are.
- Ideal viewing experience – Even in its infancy, digital publishing accounts for 8-10% of the publishing industry in India. One of the main reasons for this is the ideal viewing experience that eReaders provide. Along with being accessible anytime and anywhere, eReaders now come with options like authentic page feel, page flipping options, and more. to make the reading experience more immersive. On top of that, they also provide the ability to carry multiple books in one place without having to physically carry them around with yourself. Smartphones, thanks to the growth of social media, are also a great option for accessing online content from the comfort of your couch.
- Audiobooks are gaining ground – Audiobooks are one of the most important formats for digital publishing and consumption. In some countries, the growth of audiobooks is faster than that of e-books. India is also seeing increased interest in this format. Some of our established audiobook providers such as Audible, Storytel and Google expect interest and revenue from digital formats to grow in India as well.
- Easy online access to children’s literature – Children’s literature is a key sub-sector of digital publishing. Thanks to Covid-19, many parents have accessed materials posted online to entertain, educate and occupy their children. This trend also continues to grow in a post-crisis world. With the return to normal school, children’s books continue to be a popular genre for digital publishing. From picture books for young children to spy thrillers for teens to educational materials available online, digital publications are popular with children and students of all ages.
The growth of digital publishing has spurred the growth of various new business models such as subscriptions, bundled packages, open-access resources, self-publishing, etc. to target a wider audience. Publishing houses are seeing the growth of digital publishing and have completely revamped their online presence and offer to stay ahead.
Although the market is still in its growth phase. Many artists and publishers are still worried about losing their rights to material, cybersecurity, etc. Although there has been a huge shift towards the adoption of digital media, the print edition continues to dominate the Indian landscape. Factors like the contribution of India’s print publishing industry are also a major source of revenue and create millions of jobs. A key enabler for academic achievement, learning, hobbies, religious texts, etc., the publishing industry covers a significant portion of the market share. It generates revenue with the continuous production of knowledge in regional languages as well.
The digital publishing industry in India seeks to combine publishing and technology to get the best of both for a reliable and winning proposition in the future.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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