Kelly Scott Madison

Has the Bell Finally Tolled for Newspapers?



The industry has been reporting for years that traditional print newspapers are a dying breed.

The industry has been reporting for years that traditional print newspapers are a dying breed. As readership has steadily declined in both weekday and weekend print editions and the few remaining diehard readers have continued to age, newspapers have become synonymous with “old school” media.

News Consumption Evolution

It is understood in advertising circles that the share of total U.S.newspaper advertising decline will only continue as the internet has made advertising markets more competitive. This is seen through the evolution of consumers’ reading habits, shifting from traditional print to an online platform. Virtual sources provide countless avenues for news consumption through newspaper-direct sites, other news aggregator sites, search engines, social media and online video. Traditional newspapers do not provide “preferred source” incentives for readers due to the nature of print timelines. With the advantage of real-time reporting, digital sites can distribute the same news information found in a print edition faster, making online sources the most reliable forbreaking news.

As a result, while traditional newspaper circulation is on the decline, news and information consumption on desktop, tablets and mobile devices is rising. According to an August 2014 study by the Newspaper Association of America and comScore, 80 percent of U.S. adult internet users accessed news content digitally within the previous month. In fact, the digital audience engaging with newspaper content totaled 164 million unique visitors in August 2014, which is an 18 percent year over year increase. The rise of native advertising could also help make up for some lost subscription revenue, though it won’t come close to plugging the hole entirely. Consumers are also increasingly looking for... 

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