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Internet killed the Newspaper star
Submitted by Chris on 20 January 2012 - 1:30pm
Terrible blog titles notwithstanding, The Buggles hit the nail on the head: video killed the radio star. Just as Beta gave way to VHS, VHS gave way to DVD and now DVD is giving way to Blu-ray. The same thing is happening with the printed media. Magazines and newspapers are collapsing left, right and center under the might of the Internet.
I recently got my hands on Vocus Group’s State of the Media Report, 2011 which was quite an interesting read – grab your free copy here. The report gives a nice overview of the preceding year including interesting snippets of information about media in general. With the 2012 edition of the report due in a week or two, I thought I’d share some of the interesting points from the 2011 version:
- 2009 saw 300 newspapers die; in 2010 this number dropped to 151 (all but 9 of them were printed newspapers).
- In 2010, 13 new weekly and 5 monthly printed newspapers were launched as well as 18 online-only newspapers.
- In 2010, 169 magazines were launched (49 of these were digital/online magazines), and 167 collapsed.
- 2010 saw an increase in online integration of printed magazines and related online articles and websites.
- 2010 was a relatively stable year for jobs in this industry, especially compared to 2009 with its large losses across the board.
- Similar to magazines, TV saw a large increase in integration with online media such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Interestingly, radio is still surviving, with a slight increase in listeners in 2010 over 2009, however the overall radio use has dropped about 15% over the last 5 years.
- This is in contrast to the majority of evidence that shows people prefer to get their news elsewhere, which could suggest that radio use is more for music/talk-back/shows/etc. rather than as a news service.
Some of the interesting points from the newspaper, magazine and television sections of the report show that media outlets that embraced the Internet in combination with their printed cousins did relatively well. Those that didn’t, quite simply, died.
Perhaps the next step, for newspapers at least, is paid online news services? The Australian has recently launched their Digital Pass service which allows you to subscribe, for around $20/month, to their various news services with full access to all the digital articles and content they have available.
I saw something similar happen a few years ago with a technology magazine where they tried to get forum goers to subscribe to be able to post on their forum. This, they said, was due to a drop in sales of their hard copy magazine but a huge increase in their website traffic (they had great digital articles as well as a very active forum).
In the end, it failed and they ended up scrapping the subscription within a couple of months because of the spectacular drop in website visitors, not to mention a lack of subscribers. It seems that the problem facing media marketers is the ever-increasing level of choice granted to the average consumer. Don’t like something? No problem, there’s always another website offering the same (or better) information for free.
I can’t help but wonder what it will be like, perhaps not too far off, when there are no more newspapers, magazines or even libraries. Sure there’s a wealth of information available online, more than any book can hold, however there is definitely something to be said for reading and writing – skills which, in my opinion, are diminishing.
Oh and by reading, I’m referring to reading weird and uncool things like novels and text books, which have a beginning, middle and end and are made up of these funny things called paragraphs. Reading a less-than-140-character tweet doesn’t count.
Speaking of which, don’t even get me started on spelling…
Chris is a senior I.T. & Online Consultant. His areas of expertise include social media marketing, Google Apps, website development and search engine optimisation. Chris' commitment to client satisfaction is evident from positive customer feedback and a strong rapport with his portfolio of clients.
Chris holds a Bachelor of Information Technology (Business Information Systems Major) degree from The University of Newcastle, is a Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialist and is currently working towards his MCITP: Enterprise Administrator on Windows Server 2008 certification.
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