Online Newspaper Readership Cuts Circulation of Hardcopy Publications to 5-year Low

By Rahab Mbiriti / May 7, 2019




The number of hardcopy newspaper circulated in 2018 hit a five-year low on account of increased used of internet-based platforms, fresh data shows.

Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Standards revealed that in 2018, the number of daily newspapers, both English and Kiswahili reduced to 87.1 million and 3.7 million copies, respectively.

The decline was partly attributed to competition from online newspapers due to the high usage of internet-enabled mobile phones, access of several electronic newspapers available for free or at a discounted price and heavy presence of well-established blogs.

The average number of online visitors per day continued to increase due to its high preference among many readers and in 2018, online readers increased by 0.2 percent to 2,857,000 compared to a 53.1 percent increase recorded in 2017.

Are Newspapers on their way out?

The death of the newspaper has already been prophesied and discussed at length since the entry of the Internet.

Thanks to cheap data bundles offered by telecommunication giants like Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom, readers can now access the internet more easily and thus prefer to read their news online.

Kenya’s two main media houses who once heavily relied on newspaper sales to operate have had to make drastic measures to adapt to the online revolution.

Read Also: Online Newspaper Readership in Kenya Spiked 20.1 Percent in 2017

Daily Nation has unveiled an online platform called Nairobi News which reports news in a bid to keep up with Kenya’s tech-savvy population

The standard group has also added an online platform called Ureport to give Kenyans online consumers not just a platform but also tools to report news events as they occur by the minute.

The situation for hardcopy newspapers has been further worsened by blogging in Kenyan which has steadily grown over the years.

According to statistics from the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE), there are an estimated 15,000 registered blogs in Kenya with 3,000 being active blogs registered blogs by Kenyans on the WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr platforms as of 2015.





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