While Bauer Media announces the temporary suspension of a number of print titles in Australia due to the effects of COVID-19 on ad revenue, iconic UK mag NME says it will launch a print edition Down Under.

And the digital magazine sector gets a boost as Swedish platform Readly announces it will launch in Australia and New Zealand next. Subscribers who pay a monthly fee can gain access to around 5,000 digital versions of local and international titles, including The Australian Women’s Weekly, ELLE Australia, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Forbes.

Bauer’s decision to suspend titles reflects the state of the ad market and will also include restricting parts of the business, it says. Some 70 staff will lose their jobs and a similar number will be furloughed, reports B&T. Online versions of the titles impacted will continue to publish.

The company’s Australia CEO Brendon Hill said, “These are unprecedented times. The COVID-19 crisis and the strict measures being taken to control it are having a profound impact on the Australian economy and any business that operates in it.”

“This has led to a sharp decrease in advertising revenues in Australia over the short term and we have had to reshape our organisation accordingly.”

In contrast, the decision by NME owners Bandlab Technologies to publish monthly in Australia from May follows its successful launch of a local website late last year, the company says. The news comes after last month’s announcement that local publisher Brag Media plans to bring out Australian print version of Rolling Stone.

While the COVID-19 crisis has sent economic shockwaves through many industries, it has driven changes in consumer habits that have benefited others. Subscription software platform Zuora’s latest data reveals consumers’ hunger for up-to-date information has driven digital news and media subscription growth of 300% during March this year compared to the previous 12 months.

With news changing day-by-day, there is an increase in demand for up-to-date information, resulting in sign-ups for digital news subscriptions. Many news websites are temporarily taking down their paywall to offer a subset of news for free, says Zuora’s Subscription Impact Report: COVID-19.

Sourced from B&T, Zuora