As COVID-19 shakes up our social practices and habits, beginning with travel and tourism, it threatens to shake out the long practice of printing news on paper. It suggests that this week’s closure of AAP may not be the last job losses this year.
The industry's not-so-quiet secret is that ads for travel and events are all that’s keeping printed papers alive. Now, according to the Standard Media Index, those figures are starting to slide, with agency bookings for travel down 5.1% in January compared to the previous year.
Travel will come back to advertising as people work through their coronavirus fears, but not to print. The big lesson from the past 20 years is that once an advertising category leaves print it only comes back in digital.