Life after newsprint can be rosy - as The Independent shows

How is The Indy doing in its post-print existence? Rather well, it turns out…

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Impressive results from the company that owns The Independent today:

Profits at the Independent have overtaken those at bigger title the Telegraph, a significant milestone for the first national UK newspaper publisher to close its printing presses and rely solely on digital revenue.

Yup. The Independent has killed its print edition, and is actually improving its financial position.

This is not what many have been predicting. News brands appear to be surviving the transition to digital.

Don’t cry for me, print lovers

Look, don’t worry. Nobody is saying print is dead. It isn’t. Print is changing, sure, and not all print titles will survive as print titles - but it’s not dead. Equally, though, there is profitable life for new publications after (or without) newsprint.

It’s not easy, it requires a ruthless focus on costs and customer proposition. But The Independent has done it - and without raising a paywall (although they do, of course, have a premium offering):

Turnover in the year to September 2019 rose 9 per cent to £27m. The company reported pre-tax profit of £3m for the year to September 2018 and £2.3m for the following year, which it attributed to the cost of hiring more journalists.

Gosh. Hiring more journalists? How often do you hear that these days?

John Paton, chair of Independent Digital News and Media Limited, claimed the group had become “truly a unicorn”. “Few, if any, serious newspapers in the world have made the transformation from print to digital only,” he said.

Yet, John. Yet.

business modelsprintthe independent

Adam Tinworth Twitter

Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.