Analysis | What’s in store for Taiwan media industry?

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TAIPEI (The China Post) — As gradual downsizing becomes prevalent in Taiwan’s media sector, the shrinking number of outlets may lead to the media landscape transitioning towards better quality stories to retain customers and market share.

The consequence of thinning outlets also means fewer perspectives available to the general public. With digital disruption drawing advertising-income away from print media, the industry is expected to focus more on online presence and quality-based reporting.

The gradual transition from subscription-based print media to accessible digital outlets have been underway for many years. The recent coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, US-China trade negotiations, and social unrest in Hong Kong only accelerated the process of disruption in the media.

With advertisers delaying or canceling promotional projects and campaigns, companies were forced to act immediately to stop widening losses. Layoffs were announced on Monday by Apple Daily Taiwan, with 140 employees affected by the decision as the parent company Next Digital reports annual losses for the fifth year in a row. 

The downsized editorial team signals a shift in focus from traditional local news coverage to in-depth investigative reporting, major social news, and feature stories, stated Apple Daily Taiwan. The company also said it will continue to push its online subscription-based service, which was launched in April 2019. 

Earlier in June, the United Daily News Group announced the termination of the United Evening Newspaper after 32 years. The China Times Express ended publication in 2005, succumbing to competitive pressures as 24-hour cable TV rose in popularity.