Monday, February 11, 2013

Newspapers losing print revenue far faster than they can gain digital income

One of the biggest problems facing newspaper companies as they seek to move to a digital future is highlighted by a report published last year by the US Pew Research Centre.

In a study of 40 newspapers - based on data supplied and interviews with newspaper executives - Pew discovered that for every $1 gained in internet revenues, the newspapers were losing $7 in print revenue.

In an article published today, Pew says that the situation has got worse: "By the end of 2012, the numbers were considerably grimmer for the sector as a whole - $16 in print losses for every digital dollar gained."

"The case studies come from  "The Search for a New Business Model" released by Pew Research Center in March 2012," says today's article.

"Based on data provided by nearly 40 newspapers and interviews with executives at 13 newspaper companies, that study found that in general, the effort to replace losses in print ad revenue with new digital revenue was taking longer and proving more difficult than executives wanted."

Despite this fairly depressing outcome, the report did highlight what it thought was a few signs of hope with six 'outliers' either managing to offset print losses with digital gains, or at least coming very close to doing so.

However, even this glimmer of hope may have been extinguished.

"Pew Research tracked those outliers and found, as a reminder of the fragility of the business, that in the course of several months, two had suffered significant revenue declines and three others were part of a company undergoing a major organizational restructuring that made it difficult to draw conclusions about their economic health," says today's report.

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