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Print industry suffers another blow as Spanish paper El Pais is set to become digital-only

Spain’s best-selling newspaper El Pais is soon follow in The Independent’s footsteps, after editor-in-chief confirmed the paper will phase out its print editions to focus on its digital offering.

In an open letter to his staff, Antonio Cano, the editor-in-chief, confirmed that the "first phase of refurbishment work in the new newsroom will be complete" over the next few days, and with it will arrive the moment when El Pais will become "an essentially digital newspaper", the Times reported.

"The step from paper to digital is just one part and is not even the biggest of the many steps that newspapers will have to take until we find our true space in the future," he added.

El Pais' print circulation fell 15 per cent to 220,000 copies last year, while online readership grew 15 per cent with 13.5 million unique online users per month.

It comes as many papers are struggling with falling readership from print editions as digital thrives. Last month The Independent became the UK's first national newspaper to go digital-only and close its print editions.

While moving to digital-only requires a rethinking of how a paper monetizes its content and its offering to advertisers, media buyers interviewed by The Drum thought the Independent’s digital drive makes sense in the current climate, and many others will soon follow-suit.

It seems that while print will always exist, there has been a gradual weeding out of the smaller players that benefit more from investing in a digital product.

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