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Print Media Circulation on the Decline as Digital Publications Gain More Traffic

Kenyans have adapted more to Online Newspapers than the traditional print media. According to The Economic survey 2021 shows that hard copy Newspapers have been on a steady decline for the last five years. The Covid-19 pandemic further aggravated the matter in 2020 as more Kenyans adapted to online operations to curb the spread of the virus.

According to the report, 62.9 million copies of daily English newspapers were circulated in 2020 compared to 94.3 million sold in 2016.The main hard copy publications include the Nation, the Standard and The Star Newspapers. Only 3.5 Kiswahili Newspapers were sold in 2020 compared to 4.4 million in 2016. The main Swahili publication in the country is Nation Media Group’s Taifa Leo.

Weekly Newspapers also had very little sales, with 9.9 million copies sold in 2020 compared to 13.7 million in 2016.

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The figures have increased for the digital versions of the same publications. According to the survey, the average number of online visitors accessing the publications per day hit 3,726,615, an increase from 1,862,943 per day in 2016.

The Mainstream publications have developed digital versions, attracting huge audiences online. This year, the Nation, Standard and The Star all adopted the log-in system for viewers wishing to access premium stories. Subscription rates have also been set, with the media houses hoping to cash in from the online audience who have access to unregulated content.

The Digital Newspapers also partnered with telecom companies such as Safaricom to sell the publications.

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