Today’s media market is facing strong competition between traditional media and electronic media sources: websites, social networks and smartphone information applications due to the ever-increasing number of Internet users worldwide.
A survey carried out by OMNESMEDIA showed that 36% of participants no longer follow traditional media, especially written press, and that 46% of them read print newspapers irregularly or rarely.
Written press and the digital transition
This study concerns a survey carried out on 10,000 individuals from 14 countries in the MENA region, which showed that 36% of participants no longer use traditional media, particularly print newspapers, and that 46% read them irregularly, while the percentage of print newspaper fans is estimated at 12%.
Similarly, it was found that 42% of respondents prefer to receive information via social media, while 24% lean towards electronic information sites. As for news television channels, their rate is estimated at 20%.
Therefore, the results of this survey predict a promising future for electronic media, especially smartphone applications, which are currently a strong competitor to other traditional media sources and are experiencing significant growth not only in the Middle East region but also internationally, this is explained by their free nature, which contributes to their rapid spread. These observations reflect the reality of the written press today in light of the electronic content revolution, which has prompted the majority of traditional media to transform and invest in this growing sector.
No one can deny that users’ behaviour towards media and information has changed so much with the advent of new media sources, so it is only natural that digital transition should be necessary to adapt written press to the digital age. It must also be recognized that these changes can provide written press with a solid ground to evolve and open up to new horizons. There written press professionals in the Middle East who have been able to take advantage of the benefits of this digital age to promote their content further, by thinking of complementing written press with a digital version through the creation of electronic platforms, smartphone applications, etc. Like the case of Bashar Kiwan, founder and president of the (AWI) group a tangle of media and advertising companies. This Franco-Syrian entrepreneur has decided to invest in some online digital properties related to the strengthening and expansion of its media presence on high-potential markets, in addition to a co-marketing agreement with Google, in September 2010 in which Waseet and Waseet.net offer Google AdWords vouchers to their customers in the MENA region. To this end, it is up to media specialists to take appropriate measures to save the future of written press.