ciphergoth: (Default)
[personal profile] ciphergoth
Newspapers everywhere are finding it progressively harder to make any money, and their future is in doubt. Lots of people have opinions on what should happen next, or what newspapers should do. I'm interested in a different question here - leaving aside all normative discussion of what we might like or not like, what do people think is actually going to happen?

Date: 2011-10-17 10:28 am (UTC)
purplerabbits: me at the computer, taken at work (Default)
From: [personal profile] purplerabbits
Newspapers will print many fewer paper copies and may keep more content as online only. Paper copies which are paid for by avertising will be placed free (like the Metro). There will also be a relatively small market for a few papers to be bought in bulk by people like BA, Satrbucks etc (to name only places I've seen this done recently.)

I also wonder if the business model of i will work (small paper, 20p a shot, available at stations etc) given that wifi on trains is no longer free.

I suspect, or at least hope, that the new models will be hard on the really junky tabloids, but I'm not holding my breath...

Date: 2011-10-17 11:00 am (UTC)
purplerabbits: me at the computer, taken at work (Default)
From: [personal profile] purplerabbits
That's my best guess, although I may be erring on the side of too similar to today...

Date: 2011-10-17 03:01 pm (UTC)
babysimon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] babysimon
cheap instead of free

Very dubious about this. The cost of buying a newspaper doesn't feel like it's really measured in pence; it;s measured in stopping, getting your wallet out, having the right change, queuing up, and wondering if you want the newspaper enough to do all that. At least for me it is.

Date: 2011-10-17 02:45 pm (UTC)
juliet: (Default)
From: [personal profile] juliet
given that wifi on trains is no longer free

Wifi isn't, but plenty of people have some variety of unlimited phone-data package, so either tethering, or online news which reads well on tiny mobile screens, may outcompete the i-type model anyway.

I suspect, or at least hope, that the new models will be hard on the really junky tabloids

See, I think that the really junky tabloids are more likely to survive, because what they're providing is arguably not really all that closely related to news; or at least not *solely* to that. And I suspect that their target market is less likely to be ready, at least at this point, to move to online reading. (Mind you, this depends where exactly the 'really junky' line is drawn.)

Date: 2011-10-17 02:40 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
About half of the UK's national newspapers are actual commercial businesses; about half are run at a loss by charities or as the playthings of influence-peddling millionaires. So eg the Mail, the Sun, the Mirror are actual businesses; the Times, the Independent, the Guardian are not. The Telegraph is an anomaly because it was for years a loss-making part of the Barclay Brothers portfolio but recently went into profit. The accounting legitmacy of that profit is not without its doubters.

The latter will be fine so long as charities and millionaires continue their largesse. The former will disappear or be sold to the latter, probably very suddenly indeed, one fine day when the the three or four ad agencies in London that control the placement of most ads finally decide the money is being wasted and either cut back their offered rate to a commercially unsustainable one or stop altogether.

The idea that "newspapers" as such can move online is pure fiction, the costs of journalism cannot be met out of online revenues. It is slightly conceivable that one or two English-language newspapers will survive in some form purely online out of subscription revenues, but experiments in that direction so far have been utter failures. There is no prospect whatsoever of funding journalism as currently understood out of online ad revenues.

Date: 2011-10-17 06:32 pm (UTC)
reddragdiva: (Default)
From: [personal profile] reddragdiva
I have a horrifying vision of the future of journalism being like the tech press is now, i.e. blatant cheap whoredom and not even a pretence of separation between editorial and advertising. Trolling for ad-banner clicks on the Register model. (The Telegraph is reported to already measure and demand immediate click-bait scores from its writers. [Couldn't find the link on a quick search.])

It is possible I am just finding the horror of this vision compelling, combined with not being able to think of another way for businesses of the names of the present newspapers surviving; I would be at a loss for how to place a confidence score on it, for example.

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