By Staff writer
Dr Nashwa Al Ruwaini, founder of Pyramedia Consultancy & Production, told a Dubai conference that print newspapers would be extinct in MENA region by 2037
7Days, the region's first free daily newspaper launched in April 2003, has announced that it will publish on a weekly basis from January next.
The Dubai newspaper, published by Al Sidra Media, said the transition is part of its decision to focus more on its digital operation from the beginning of 2017.
Speaking to local media, Mark Rix, the company’s CEO, said: "The time has arrived for us to take bold decisions that enable us firstly to continue to operate profitably and then continue to build on the core competencies that have been developed over the past 13 years in first-class content creation, distribution and customer engagement."
From the new year the newspaper will appear as a bumper weekly edition every Thursday, which will see an increased focus on community issues, lifestyle and analysis, according to Claire Sharrock, managing editor, 7Days.
Meanwhile, Dr Nashwa Al Ruwaini, founder of Pyramedia Consultancy & Production, speaking at Dubai Chamber’s National Treasure conference this week, claimed print newspapers would be extinct in the Middle East and North Africa by 2037, as consumers in the region embrace new digital formats and platforms.
Dr Al Ruwaini said that while TV, radio and magazines in the Arab region had maintained their share of advertising spend between 2009 and 2015, digital spend had grown from 1 percent to 10 percent of the total advertising spend in the region during that period at the expense of newspapers, whose share dropped from 39 percent to 31 percent.
“The daily frequency cannot compete with online newspapers and 24-hour news channels. It cannot,” she said.
“Some newspapers have capitalised on their own business and launched online versions of their own newspapers so they counter this 24-hour news input. Some people are moving towards online advertising, but online advertising costs less than print, so it doesn’t make up for the loss.”