With BDLive Business Day hopes to save its bacon

by Herman Manson (@marklives) Business Day recently shifted gear to relaunch as a ‘digital first’ news product rather than just the printed newspaper it’s been bargaining on to keep the brand afloat. It’s a strategy that’s long overdue and hopes to mimic some of the digital success achieved by the Financial Times (Pearson, owner of FT, also has a stake in BDFM which publishes Business Day).

The print product really had no choice but to reinvent itself as it and other business publications face the loss of revenue from financial notices by JSE listed companies – these notices, described by critics as a forced ‘subsidy’ for print business media, is set to fall away after changes to regulations by the JSE. The industry is expected to lose a significant percentage of the estimated R200m currently spent on these notices annually.

Advertising revenue has also started shifting towards digital environments in line with developments in other economies.

Bronwen Auret, GM: BDFM Digital, agrees that those in the business of business news face challenges but she is also excited about the opportunities the new digital centric model will afford the company.

Newspapers are the least sexy media right now, say Aurent, and where to from (for now still) profitable print have been a predicament for most newspaper proprietors given the high cost of bandwidth and slower Internet uptake by the South African market.

With the uptick in usage of online and mobile thanks to more competitive pricing and competition by mobile data providers the market is shifting and the introduction of apps has made South Africans more familiar and comfortable with ecommerce.

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