Saturday, March 05, 2011

Memo to Newspapers: Incremental Change is Not Helping

Memo to Newspapers: Incremental Change is Not Helping, article.
...print may still be producing a large proportion of revenues for newspapers, but it is also the source of a large proportion of the costs at any traditional media company, and that spells doom if you are competing with digital-only publishing outlets such as AOL and Yahoo.
... Above all, Paton says, media outlets need to become digital-first, because the print side is only dragging down their businesses and preventing them from being as competitive as they should be. So far, that’s a message too few traditional newspaper publishers have heard.

There's a Danish saying: "let fall what won't stand". And if the income of print editions can no longer support the Manhattan skyscraper offices and huge print/distribution systems they used to...
Online content can be produced at much, much lower cost, so there's no reason it should not be at least as profitable. Well, OK, maybe one reason: there is much more competition, you will no longer have a virtual monopoly when you have the one newspaper in a town. So I guess they'll have to do a good job too...      :-)

3 comments:

John said...

Ahh, sitting down with a Sunday copy of the New York Times and a cup of coffee. Real words on paper. Bliss.

eolake said...

Granted. But since advertisers are fleeing, the price would have to go up. How much would you pay? Ten dollars for an edition?

brian hodgins said...

Online content can be produced at much, much lower cost, so there's no reason it should not be at least as profitable.

I'm not sure it would be profitable. I was watching an interview with Gary Trudeau on Charlie Rose and he said that the revenue from the online sales is minimal and that he doubted if print newspapers disappeared that it could be sustained exclusively online. The problem is that no matter how you try to protect something if it's digital it will broken and shared around for free. People who would never steal from an actual store will steal digital versions without feeling very guilty - at least not guilty enough to stop.