That the newspaper business is ailing isn't exactly news. With some newspapers closing altogether and others doing what they can to deal with still-declining revenue, it's clear that the newspaper industry needs to adapt.
The internet is increasingly the medium that newspapers are turning to as they try to adapt but it's not a quick fix.
Yesterday I discussed how The New York Times is looking to subscriptions or some form of paid content once again to help it weather not only a tough economy, but a dire financial situation brought about by declining print revenue.
Paid content can be a great business model but it's not always easy to pull off, especially when you've been giving your content away for free. After all, why would someone start paying for something you were giving them at no cost just a week ago?
Facing the worst financial situation in its history and being challenged to produce more revenue from its increasingly important digital ventures, The New York Times is revisiting a tried and true business model: charging people for content.
Despite the fact that NYT abandoned its TimesSelect subscription service in September 2007, New York Times Editor Bill Keller told the audience at a Q&A panel that "The lesson of that experiment, however, was not that readers won’t pay for content...Really good information, often extracted from reluctant sources, truth-tested, organized and explained — that stuff wants to be paid for."
Local TV revenues are projected to drop over 15 percent this year, according to some analysts. Yet at the same time, hypertargeted local advertising is growing. Pinning its hopes on local online advertising, NBC Local Media just launched Neighborhood News Pages in nine O&O markets including New York, Los Angeles,
The New York Times, itself no stranger to rapidly eroding ad revenues, has similarly partnered with EveryBlock to deliver more political news to the EveryBlock New York web site. Content pulled from the Times will notify users each time a local political representative is mentioned in the newspaper of record.
Services like Facebook and Twitter are changing the ways we
locate and share important news and information, and they have proven
to be valuable additions to the field of journalism.
Yet their rise has created some thorny ethical questions for reporters and news organizations.
2009 is shaping up to be an interesting year for the newspaper industry.
As the economic downturn accelerates the severe declines in print
revenue most major newspapers have been experiencing, the imperative
for change will only get stronger. Indeed, 2009 may be a make or break year for many of them.
Facing dire financial circumstances that have it selling assets to survive, The New York Times is doing
something it had previously refused to do throughout its 157 year
history; placing ads on its front page.
The January 5, 2009 issue of one of the world's most storied dailies
contains a modest ad, two-and-a-half inches high, at the bottom of its
front page that promotes CBS.