Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The slow death of newspapers...


This morning, stood on the platform at Green Park tube station, my wife and I happened to chat about the state of the newspaper business - like you do! I commented that it wasn't as simple as saying that the web would kill newspapers - the real killer would be the smart phone.

So no surprise the read this:

Pew research has a new survey showing that tablets and smart phones are now 27% of Americans' primary news source. The overwhelming share of this is phones, not tablets; and a reasonable view says this will rise to 50% in three years.

Why on earth should I pay over good money to buy a newspaper to read on the train when I can get up to the minute news from the BBC or whoever on my phone? Now I may have a problem with the BBC exceeded its remit by pushing aside commercial news production on-line but there's no doubt that mobile technology and TV/web convergance will completely transform the way in which we consume information, entertainment and spend our money.



Curmudgeon said...

It's not quite as simple as that, though, as to an increasing extent newspapers are metamorphosing into news and comment magazines. Newspapers have been losing their market share of "hard news" ever since the first radio news broadcast.

Kathryn said...

A correct observation, Curmudgeon, but the content metamorphosis has not stemmed the decline in newspaper sales and readership. Their business model depends on ad revenues - decreasing circulation, other places and ways to advertise and the recession is reducing those revenues. Newspapers' online ad revenues are not replacing the falling ad revenues for the print product.

In the digital world why would consumers be prepared to have their news littered with ads when the BBC can provide news, plus commentary if necessary?

News and information is more likely to be 'sold' as part of a bundle of goodies within a contract including mobile, broadband and TV me thinks. It may become the potential differentiator.