Apple’s iPad is killing print newspaper subscriptions, according to a new survey by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri.
“About 58.1 percent of respondents who subscribe to print newspapers said they would likely cancel that subscription within the next six months,” said eWeek, reporting the findings. “Another 10.7 percent said they had already canceled their subscriptions in favor of digital-only news consumption through their iPad.”
The rest of the article is here.
The survey offered hope that newspapers who write apps for the iPad and charge for online subscriptions can make the transition. In May, I wrote that The Union had quietly launched an iPhone app; this weekend it made an “official” announcement of its plan. But there still is no iPad app.
As I’ve written many times before, the hurdles are high for any newspaper to make enough money from online:
*Newsroom cultures still are not geared to 24/7 reporting that mobil readers demand. Our local media largely goes “dark” on weekends. By contrast, readers on this blog provided real-time updates of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” vote in the Senate while I was “out of pocket” (visiting a Curious George exhibit with my family in S.F.). I had posted an item earlier in the day that repeal of the policy was expected, and the readers provided the update.
*Newspapers aren’t making anywhere near enough money from web ads to cover their fixed costs. Our local media is hanging on to the “print model,” and I would argue, tailoring its editorial content to meet that older demographic (at the expense of the rest of the community).
*The iPad has been a catalyst to other tablet devices, and the trend will continue. The cost of the devices will drop along the way.
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