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Publishing during a pandemic: Mapping a path through the Covid-19 crisis

The first in a series of reports on how the publishing industry is experiencing, responding to and planning to overcome the existential threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Publishing during a pandemic – Mapping a path through the Covid-19 crisis is the product of a series of Zoom meetings and a flurry of emails.

In the process FIPP was able to bring together insight and information from more than 20 representatives from national publisher associations around the world, as well as almost two dozen senior executives from international publishing businesses. Collectively they offer clear insight and knowledge of how Covid-19 is impacting publishing right now.

According to the report, the impact of the Covid-19 crisis represents the biggest opportunity – and biggest challenge – for the publishing industry in 75 years

Download the report here

FIPP President and CEO, James Hewes, says the report marks the start of FIPP’s effort to track the impact, response and ultimately the survival strategies of the publishing industry in the response to Covid-19. “By doing this, we intend not only to record the process of dealing with this crisis but also to map strategies to overcome future challenges.”

The report covers the impact of Covid-19 on seven key aspects of publishing right now:

  1. Content creation;
  2. Distribution and newsstand;
  3. Subscriptions;
  4. Web traffic spikes and the battle to monetise it;
  5. Events;
  6. Ad revenue; and 
  7. Government assistance to publishers.

The report is only the beginning of an ongoing reporting process about the publishing industry’s response to the impact of Covid-19.

“From here we will continue with more initiatives to gather and share information with our members. The aim is to back up our initial findings with hard data and to keep track of emerging trends as well as Covid-19 response initiatives. Our hope and belief is that this living report will be of vital importance to the survival of many businesses within our industry,” writes Hewes.

Download the report here

Piet van Niekerk  @PietNiekerk