“How GCC Newspaper Publishers Can Win the Digital Game”
In the March 15, 2011 issue of Zawya, Booz & Company Principal Jayant Bhargava (Middle East) said it’s time for publishers of print newspapers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to optimize editorial and production costs to offset the steady erosion of their business share to digital media. “This may seem like bad news but news publishers in the region should take comfort in one fact: They are fortunate that unlike their counter-parts in mature markets, they will not be surprised by the advent of digital news,” said Bhargava (Middle East), a co-author of the Booz & Company report, The Advent of Digital News in the GCC: Newspaper Publishers’ Path to Winning, written with Gabriel Chahine (Middle East), Christopher Vollmer (North America) and Amer Lahham (Middle East). “In fact, they have an oppor¬tunity to see what is coming and prepare accordingly.” That preparation, he argued should include a series of short- and long-term priorities focused on investing in resources that build capa¬bilities in digital content and ad sales. According to the study, 76 percent of newspaper readers with broadband access in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar, has either decreased, has stopped their consumption of print news, or planned to stop in the next two years.