How Have Newspapers adapted to new media?
  • Printed Word
  • Online Editions
  • Mobile Apps
Why adapt to new media?
  • Production Costs
  • Immediacy
  • Enhance-ability
Informal Usage Study
  • Over 80% connected to the internet on laptops; 60% from their phone
  • 48% rarely got their news from a printed paper
  • 52% always got their news from a non-printed source
  • 96% visited a news organizations website
  • 56% reported breaking news via social media
  • 72% would not pay to receive their news
  • 84% would visit a news organizations website if prompted in a print article
Pew Research Forum

As part of the it’s 2012 State of the Media report, the Pew Forum 
presents some interesting statistics concerning newspapers and the effect of new media.  Excerpts are quoted below.  For the full report, their website.

We noted in last year’s report a wave of excitement in the industry for the potential growth opportunities in smartphones and tablets. If anything, 2011 bolstered rosy predictions about consumer enthusiasm for these devices and their substantial use – among an array of choices – to access news reports. 

The Newspaper Association of America offered the summary statistic in December that mobile traffic (tablet and phones) was up 65% in a year as measured by page views, comparing September 2011 to September 2010.11 A Pew Research/Economist study on tablets, released in October, found that the 20% of tablet readers surveyed who use news apps typically go directly to a news organization’s app (as opposed to accessing the content through a browser). More than a quarter of the tablet readers exhibit some willingness to pay for their favorite app news sources.12 

Another Pew study, in January 2012, confirmed that tablets (such as Kindle Fire and the iPad) had huge sales during the holiday shopping season, growing in ownership among adults in the U.S. roughly 50% since the summer of 2011, from 12% to 18%.13 Amazon announced that it was selling a million Kindles per week worldwide during the holiday season. So, earlier forecasts of a super-fast adoption curve remain on track. 

But the qualifier here for newspaper organizations is a familiar one – will they be able to monetize the new platforms? With the exception of e-reader editions, most news to smartphones or tablets remains free or included in bundled subscription offers to print subscribers 

.And mobile advertising – estimated at $1.45 billion in 2011 and expected to almost double in 2012—may again not connect up strongly with news content, as has proved the case on the web.14 Another AP initiative, iCircular, offers the equivalent of preprint inserts in a mobile format. And shopping apps from individual newspaper organizations attempt to carve out a share of that very popular use of the devices. But do consumers need the middleman of a newspaper organization to plan their shopping or make price comparisons on intended purchases? They may simply turn instead to Amazon, the shopping sites of the stores themselves or verticals like Yelp for restaurants. 

Probably even more of a challenge, mobile advertising is a growth target for Google in 2012. Analysts estimated in January that Google will receive $4 billion to $6 billion in mobile ad revenues worldwide this year.15 

In the more modest domain of video advertising, pre-rolls and other video ads have been available on newspaper websites for five years. But the $300 million in local video advertising revenues those organizations booked in 2011, according to analyst Gordon Borrell, is only an eighth of the total. The field is dominated by digital-only enterprises, principallyYouTube, and by “pure play” advertorials or targeted electronic classifieds for jobs or cars.16 

Social media and e-readers are parallel cases. Newspaper organizations have cranked up their Twitter and Facebook efforts, finding social media both a means to drive traffic to their stories and a reporting resource to find sources quickly during breaking news events. E-reader editions bring in some subscription revenues, and the rising popularity of longer format minibooks may bring publishing opportunity for salable storytelling. As yet, though, neither social media nor e-readers are a revenue difference-maker. And Facebook is already booking 14% of all internet display ads.17


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