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BizReport : Trends & Ideas : February 15, 2016

First UK national newspaper ditches print to go digital-only

The Independent and Independent on Sunday newspapers in the UK are to cease publication and go online only, in the starkest sign yet of the pressure on the print industry.

by Helen Leggatt

ESI Media has announced that two of its publications - The Independent and The Independent on Sunday - will become the first national newspaper in the UK to move to a digital-only format.

Circulation of The Independent has dropped from a peak of around 400,000 copies a day to today's 40,000 or so, and the Sunday edition now sells just under 43,000. It's figures like this, as well as the reading behavior of the UK population, that has led to the publication's decision to move to a digital-only format.

The last print edition of the Independent will be published on Saturday 26 March, while the last Independent on Sunday will be on 20 March.

The Independent's website is the UK's fastest-growing quality newspaper website with a global unique user base of 70 million. It is a profitable website and revenue is expected to growth 50% in 2016.

"The newspaper industry is changing, and that change is being driven by readers. They're showing us that the future is digital," said Evgeny Lebedev, owner of The Independent. "This decision preserves the Independent brand and allows us to continue to invest in the high-quality editorial content that is attracting more and more readers to our online platforms."

Gil C /

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: digital, journalism, newspaper, print, trends

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