The word on the street is that newspaper subscriptions could be coming to Apple's iPad soon. And this makes sense. Apple's (AAPL) iPad sold more units than analysts expected, and seems to be a real hit. It is spawning a host of soon-to-be Android powered imitators. While it has added to the ranks of people using devices for eBook reading, the 10 inch screen has caught the eye of others wondering whether the iPad can save newspapers and magazines.
Advertising and subscriptions to newspapers and magazines has dropped steadily over the last ten years, and many see the iPad as a path to staunching some of the bleeding. But so far, setting up subscriptions has been complicated. One can create a dedicated newspaper app that can be purchased in the store. But that leaves a user with a screen littered with various magazine apps. Dedicated readers with tens of magazines may find that unappetizing. Using in-app purchases can work for subscribers, but it's clumsy.
Continue reading Apple to Start Selling Newspaper Subscriptions?
Google (GOOG) has been the bain of the publishing industry -- both printed and electronic -- for years. Its Google Books project scans books by the hundreds in order to make the content accessible online and for free. Have a newspaper website? Google probably scans it daily to aggregate pieces of your content at Google News (again, for free). Google CEO Eric Schmidt, though, thinks that newspapers can follow the Google model and make money using their content online, and not hide everything behind a pay wall.
Continue reading Google CEO Schmidt: We See Profits in the Newspaper Industry Again
How are readers finding the news? Well, increasingly, the answer is Facebook. The social networking site, which boasts well over 350 million registered users, is now the fourth largest referral source of traffic to online news destinations. Almost a year ago, only 0.5% of traffic to news and media sites came from Facebook. Today, that level is 3.5%, according to data from Web analytics firm Experian Hitwise.
Only Google (GOOG), Yahoo! (YHOO) and MSN (MSFT) send more traffic to news sites. Google News, a subset of the search engine giant, failed to keep pace with Facebook, despite the fact that it exists specifically to send Internet users to media outlets. Only 1.39% of referrals came from this source.
Continue reading Facebook Grows as a Source for News
The recent announcement by the New York Times (NYT) that it would start to require subscriptions next year has drawn no shortage of attention and commentary. It has tried to put content behind a pay wall before (and failed), as have other newspapers.
Almost universally, newspapers have struggled with online subscriptions, with the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, a News Corp (NWS) property, the only two that have really delivered results better than awful. Whether the New York Times can operate at that level is in doubt, particularly given the stunning realization about Long Island daily newspaper Newsday.
Continue reading Newsday Shows Future of Online Subscription Model
On Monday, Tom Johansmeyer indicated that a for-pay model for the online version of The New York Times was imminent. Indeed, a press release from The New York Times Company (NYT) hit the wires Wednesday morning, revealing that a paid version of NYTimes.com would launch at the beginning of 2011 -- that's next year. So "All the News That's Fit to Print" will be available to Web browsers at a cost.
But the only folks that will have to open their wallets are those who leaf through lots of Times articles. The casual news browser will have free access to a specified number of articles each month before being charged. Subscribers who pay for home delivery of the traditional paper will have free and unlimited access to the site.
Continue reading It's Official: Your Online New York Times Will Come at a Price
The New York Times (NYT) has been struggling to figure out the web, which has led to a debate over whether to charge for electrons that has spanned years. Well, the Times seems likely to take the plunge, hoping to replicate the successes of the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal ... except, of course, that the Wall Street Journal is famous for not really delivering profits. Fortunately, the new pay wall is expected to look more like the Financial Times than the Wall Street Journal. The New York Times is considering a "metered" system. Visitors will be able to read a certain number of articles free before being required to subscribe.
A friend of Arthur Sulzberger, according to New York Magazine's Daily Intel, said that the final word could come in a few days, a sentiment corroborated by a newsroom source who said that the plan could be announced within weeks. Yet, plans need to be implemented, so it could take months for the Times to begin charging for content.
Continue reading New York Times Online Business Model Could Be Only Days Away
The New York Times (NYT) reports today that newspapers dominate the news creation business.
This is an interesting twist -- instead of touting readers or paid circulation or ads or total revenue, it's talking about production. It's almost as if Ford (F) were to announce: "We make more cars than anyone else." Who the hell cares if they sell any, right? What's important is production, not sales! For the Times, and print media in general, it feels like yet another attempt to justify its existence and "prove" that it is more valuable than the more cost-effective and nimble online outlets.
Continue reading Most News Outlets Are Repetitive, New York Times Repeats
Free content's getting locked down. Google (GOOG), which has been criticized by the newspaper industry for
sending them traffic making it easy for readers to find the stories they want without forcing them to make a purchase, is starting to play ball with the print industry.
What's the harm? The way things are going, Google will only have to be nice for a little while. Then, this latest defensive measure by the newspaper industry will have run its course, and Google will be free to do what it wants.
Continue reading Google gives newspapers what they want
We've put three quarters behind us in 2009, and the most recent one was merely another miserable step downward for the beleaguered newspaper industry. Total ad revenue plummeted in the third quarter to $6.4 billion for the print jockeys, a decline of 28%. This info from the Newspaper Association of America drives home the notion that conditions will only worsen for the newspaper industry. So, if you're hoping those shares of New York Times Company (NYT), Gannett (GCI) and Washington Post Company (WPO), holding your breath will leave you little more than dizzy.
Of the total advertising revenue generated in the third quarter of 2009, $5.8 million came from print, the lowest quarterly amount this year. The $623 million in online advertising sold by America's newspapers was also 2009's worst. Both are down substantially from the same quarter in 2008, when the newspapers posted print ad revenue of $8.2 million and online ad revenue of $750 million, according to NAA data. At this time last year, we lamented year-over-year declines approaching 20%. Now, we have the same feelings as ad revenue drops approach 30%.
Continue reading Newspaper ad revenue of 28%, 8 quarters of double-digit drops
This winter, a bit more of New York is headed to Florida. Layoffs for 2010 have already been announced for the New York Times Company(NYT). The New York Times News Service will lose 25 editorial positions next year and shift the service's editing to one of the parent company's Florida newspapers. At present, the news service has 30 editorial jobs. Some of the layoffs will occur in February, and the others will happen in May.
These layoffs are not included in the planned slashing of 100 jobs in the flagship newspaper's newsroom -- a workforce reduction of 8% that should take hold by the end of the year. The NY Times is also ceasing pension contributions for nonunion employees.
Continue reading NYT News Service migrates after cut
The folks in the news business are probably growing to hate Mondays. Gannett's (NYSE: GCI) profits are off by more than 50%, and the New York Times announced that it's chopping 100 jobs from the newsroom, along with an unspecified number elsewhere in the newspaper. Like Gannett, the New York Times cites declines in ad revenue as the reason for the decision. The company is hoping that employees will take voluntary buyouts where offered, but it is prepared to conduct a round of layoffs if necessary.
The newspaper, which is the flagship property of the New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), cut 100 newsroom positions last year, mostly through voluntary buyouts, before a "relatively small" round of layoffs. This year's 100-job cut is approximately 8% of the newsroom, but the paper will still have the largest in the United States. Approximately 1,150 reporters and editors will remain. Already, 100 jobs have been slashed on the business side, leaving it now staffed at 1,850.
Continue reading New York Times to cut 100 newsroom positions
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