A new report conducted by Simon-Kucher & Partners has dived into the reading habits of 1,000 US tablet owners and their digital newspaper habits. One the most relevant aspects of the survey found that 72% have downloaded at least one newspaper app and 80% said that $15.00 per month is too much to pay.
Many newspapers offer different perks for signing up for their online metered access or digital subscriptions via their apps. The New York Times and Telegraph both charge $15.00 per month, while the Financial Times costs upwards of $50.00 for full access. The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and San Francisco Chronicle all offer different costs and benefits for joining their digital empire. There seems to be no unilateral standard and that is jading tablet owners.
“Top tier newspapers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are best equipped to survive by using apps to reach a national footprint and targeting just the highest value consumers,” says Andre Weber, a partner at Simon-Kucher. “But regional and local newspapers have a tougher battle ahead because they do not have the advantage of scale.” He went on to say, “Most publications currently do not realize the full value in what they have to offer on a digital platform. They must improve their product offering and value messaging to convince consumers to pay for their apps.”
There was one strategy that was posed in the report that resonated very well with 80% of the respondents. They want newspapers to unbundle their content and just sell access to Sports, Business, Technology, and Book Reviews. “The music industry was first to be pressured into unbundling by selling singles alongside full albums. Now the cable industry faces pressure to sell its channels ‘a la carte’. It looks like newspapers will be next.”