Many newspaper publishing companies who traditionally print national, regional and local editions have some interesting insights on the future of publishing. Many companies we have spoken with at various conferences this year have decreed that the death of the National newspaper is imminent due to online news being more current and blogs being more specialized for technology.
Major news companies are experiencing dwindling print subscriptions and in turn are seeing decreasing advertising revenue from their traditional sponsors. These same sponsors are turning to online advertising in order to reach their target demographic more effectively. Most major papers have already gravitated towards a pay-wall based model in order to retain its user-base and offer free access if you subscribe to the print edition. Philadelphia publications have recently introduced a tablet for $99 for a 2 year subscription that allowed you to keep it at the end of your subscription. This has prompted other companies to consider following in the same footsteps.
Many people who used to subscribe to their national newspaper are now finding they can get more current information online. Early in my youth I peddled newspapers for local companies and many people cited they only were signing up for the Book Reviews, Movie Reviews and other weekly content. Ten years later everyone is visiting Publishers Weekly, TMZ, or Rotten Tomatos. If you are interested in technology you are visiting popular websites like Engadget, Gizmodo, and of course, Good e-Reader!
People are finding more current and specialized content on the internet and is free so there is no fees they have to pay which resonates well. If you are looking for the Top Stories in your particular country or region you only have to go as far as Google News to find out the top stories.
So obviously National papers are finding it hard to compete in the current market climate but what about the locals? Many companies we have spoken to like Zinio, and Newspaper Direct all told us the localized newspapers will outlive the nationals because of the news you can’t find online. Local news is more relevant to your daily life because you can find out whats going in your particular city and how it effects you. Politics, public gatherings, festivals, local success stories, business and other notables are very important to a city and keeping the population informed.
Local papers are used to be being run on a shoe string budget and their readership and circulation are fairly consistent because of the relevancy. Every day you hear about dwindling subscription rates on National and International publications. In a world of 24 hour news and Twitter leading the charge on current world events the big time newspapers are fading away into irrelevancy. During the next few years the online subscription base will continue to rise, while the papers themselves continue to decline.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.