The Covid-19 pandemic started in 2020 and forced us to change our social life and consumption habits. The digital world became our source for communication, information and entertainment, changing the game for publishers, who notoriously increased their content production.
Two years later, the world is now slowly opening again and we’re going back to normal. People are starting to go out more and move on from the pandemic, disconnecting a bit from the digital world. And this has had its effects in the publishing industry.
Dealing with pandemic fatigue after the content boom
Digital fitness company Peloton saw a decrease in their popularity after it reached success during the pandemic while the gyms were closed. The so-called “Netflix of fitness” has reportedly lost 80% of its value in Nasdaq the last year.
While part of the reason was because of the now infamous controversy- a character in HBO’s And Just Like That… loses his life while exercising in a Peloton bike -, news platform The Globe And Mail claims that the real reason its popularity crashed was because of pandemic fatigue.
People were ready to leave Covid-19 in the past and when gyms opened again, people felt the urge to go back to their previous life. That’s why brands that have relied their activity and branding heavily in the pandemic and stay-at-home activities are expected to decrease their value in the future. That’s it, unless they make efforts to retain their users.
And while Peloton is just an example of this, it shows that having a well thought-out strategy and being innovative is crucial to avoid stagnation in the next few years.
How does this stagnation affect publishers?
In these two past years, we’ve seen how publishers’ subscriptions have increased significantly. You can read more about this if you want to know more!
But now that we’re moving past the pandemic, how are publishers suffering from this fatigue? Since the end of restrictions, people have been spending less time on the internet and consuming less content. And this has led to a decline in subscriptions.
However, it’s still early to panic. Subscriptions are growing at a lower pace so it’s vital for publishers to focus on retention strategies. As reported by analytics platform Piano, monthly subscriptions generated during the pandemic have a higher retention rate than those generated before 2020.
Also, annual subscriptions reportedly retain more users than monthly ones. The former have a retention of 75% after a year versus the 45% of the latter. The main reason is that monthly subscribers have more chances of canceling their plan throughout the year than annual users.
This shows how the work that publishers have made to keep users engaged and avoid the cancellation risk in the first months have paid off.
Publishers have concerns about the post-pandemic world and its effects in their businesses. But it’s safe to say that innovating and focusing on engaging and retaining their users will make their future less uncertain.
Is pandemic fatigue affecting digital publishers?
Definitely. After two years of restrictions, people are starting to consume less content. That’s why publishers need to be innovative and create strategies that help maintain their audience.
How can publishers avoid stagnation after the pandemic?
Publishers need to focus on putting all efforts to retain the users that have gained during the pandemic. For that, engagement strategies will be crucial to avoid a decrease in subscribers.