Comments on: Newspaper self-cannibalization datapoint of the day A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: Matt Stevens Fri, 31 Jul 2009 16:42:50 +0000 in all the debate about newspaper subscriptions, I never seen anyone mention The Economist and its amazing ability to still generate subscriptions even though absolutely everything is offered free online-except their audio edition. The audio edition (awesome British voices reading all the articles) is fantastic but it costs $9 if you don’t have a subscription or its free with magazine subscription.
I was working internationally where I couldn’t receive mail, but I kept my Economist subscription (and sent it to my brother) just so I could enjoy the audio edition. Perhaps more newspapers need to change the forms they deliver news.

By: Ginger Yellow Fri, 31 Jul 2009 16:11:34 +0000 In the UK, because distribution costs are much lower for a given audience reach, print subscriptions tend to be treated as profit centres in themselves, and so are priced much higher than in the US. Even if they don’t make a profit absent advertising, they tend to be sold at cost, rather than a huge discount. It costs me less to get Harper’s shipped from the US every month than it does to have, say, the London Review of Books delivered by post a couple of miles to my flat. I’ve been wondering for some time what the consequences are for the online world of these two radically different subscription models. For a UK paper or magazine, replacing a print subscription with a cheap online subscription is a less attractive than in the US, unless it allows you to phase out print altogether.

By: Kent Ford Fri, 31 Jul 2009 13:35:17 +0000 The fee for an online subscription can’t be too low or you will cannabilize your printed product. So what? Here’s what.

Advertising in the printed newspaper serves the local advertiser much better than web advertising. (Why is all the discussion about “news content,” when the local advertiser is the biggest consumer of newspaper services?)

If a newspaper drives all of its readers to online editions, it will lose the audience in its print edition that is vital to the success of local businesses.

Internet advertising has been around now for 15 years or so. Guess what. It’s not as good as newspaper advertising. And as it becomes more of a nuisance, it will get worse.

Internet advertising is a bother and a distraction, a lot like radio and TV advertising. The audience for any single website is a minute fractoidal slice of the market. And an advertiser’s spot might show up for every sixth or eighth or 10th surfer whose browser points to that page.

Good newspaper advertising works great. Local business people know that. In fact, the advertising is one of the big reasons people buy newspapers.

People in a town can be surfing any of 500 million websites. People in that same town read one or two of the same newspapers. If you were a local business person, where would you put your advertisement?

Newspapers that are intentionally driving their readers to their web editions are shooting themselves in the foot (like that’s never happened before). Yes, you can cut expenses by eliminating newsprint and delivery, but doing that reduces the value of the product to nothing to its biggest consumers — local advertisers.

The correct business model is to have the print edition and the online edition be two totally separate products rather than imitations of one another.

By: Jeff Jarvis Fri, 31 Jul 2009 04:25:19 +0000 But one need look at the entire P&L. Too much of the discussion is about single revenue lines, not the bottom line.

So you maintain print circulation but also maintain print cost, which amounts to at least 60% of the cost structure of papers (plus a considerable portion of edit staff). The Boston Globe as constituted was losing $85 million a year. Sure, there was more revenue there. But there was also more cost. Why maintain that? The aim should be to look at what is most profitable (not what is biggest). If that can be done with charging, wunderbar. But the question has to be how to make the most money.

By: bdbd Thu, 30 Jul 2009 20:56:27 +0000 Hard copy content for the newspaper industry sounds like travel agent/corporate travel manager support for the business travel market a decade ago. The internet changed everything (and whacked a lot of the airline industry’s pricing power in the process)