Report: 3 In 4 Publishers Create Products In Response To COVID-19

Seventy-five percent of publishers created products in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report from marketer resource organization Brand United and sister company Publishing Executive.

The report, "Product Innovation in the Publishing Industry During the Pandemic and Beyond,” received responses from 216 consumer, B2B, association/nonprofit, city/regional, scientific/technical/medical (STM) and custom-publishing organizations at the end of May.

The study found “media companies are producing dedicated newsletters, videos, interactive maps, and digital guides addressing the pandemic’s impact on their readers’ markets or lives,” according to the report.

Publishers are creating virtual events to offset live-event cancellations, as well as developing newsletters, podcasts, peer groups and other digital resources to serve their audiences, the report noted.

The study found that 72% of publishers have increased their virtual events and webinar offerings. 

Just over half of respondents also report their organizations have increased newsletter frequency or digital content production during the pandemic. 

For example, Quartz launched a newsletter to examine how the coronavirus is affecting the global economy back in March. CNN released a podcast called “Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction."

Other publishers released new products amid COVID-19 lockdowns.

Less than 20% of publishers that responded to the survey say their print frequency has stayed the same since the pandemic hit.

The greatest amount of uncertainty for publishers was around live events: 35% of survey respondents say they are unsure when their organizations will be able to resume hosting live events.

While about one-third of publishers anticipated a decline in business within the next three months, the majority expected conditions would stay the same or improve during that time, according to the report. 

Most media executives feel the worst is over for their businesses: 44% expect improvement of conditions within the next six months, and 70% feel the same when looking 12 months out.

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