In a time where we spend our days scrolling through news feeds and posting pictures of our meals before we eat them, it doesn’t come as a surprise that certain media channels aren’t as relevant as they used to be. Newspaper may be the most concerning, but is it really dying? Some would say it will soon become completely irrelevant, but others think the digital age is actually a rebirth for newspaper. There’s data to support both sides, but what does the future of newspaper really look like?
Newspapers first appeared in America in the late 17th century, making them one of the oldest forms of media. But does “old” equate to “bad”? One of the biggest issues is the cost of newspaper. News is largely available online for free, so why pay for a physical copy? The rise of mobile computers, phones, and tablets eliminates the need for tangible media. This leads into problem number two: targeting. Most people who still eat breakfast with the paper in their hand are, well…old. For marketers, placing an ad in the paper is generally not a good way to reach people under the age of 55. On top of that, print newspaper ads are fairly expensive in comparison to other alternatives.
This in mind, some experts claim the technological shift in culture is actually helping newspaper. Just because we spend more time online than we used to doesn’t mean that we don’t care about what’s happening in our world. Newspaper is more readily available to us through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and may actually be more valuable because we can easily interact with news outlets and the community through comments, shares, etc.
The data pertaining to the usage of print versus digital newspaper is inconsistent and overall unclear, but it’s certain that the circulation of print newspapers has dropped significantly in the past two decades. However, most of newspaper revenue still comes from the advertising space in print newspaper. Messy, huh? At this point, I don’t think it’s possible to confidently predict the future of newspaper. For the team at Transformation, the best thing we can do for now is to pay attention to changes in newspaper consumption and alter strategy accordingly.