Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

"
If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"
Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot,
by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse.
" -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Newspapers are Run by Idiots

I didn't get my newspaper yesterday. But this is not about delivery issues.

So yesterday afternoon, I went online to read stories on the paper's website. The paper that I subscribe to gives a free digital subscription to print subscribers. I read a number of stories.

The papers came this morning, both yesterday's and the Sunday paper. To my surprise, every story that I had read yesterday, Saturday afternoon, was from the Sunday print edition.

This is madness. As I explained over four years ago, the real customers of a newspaper are its advertisers. Newspapers make their money by distributing advertising copy to the public. To get people to pick up the newspapers and read them, newspapers have to deliver content to their readership that makes it worth the readers' time to open the papers and be exposed to the ads. By offering the same content on the Internet a day earlier, newspapers decrease the amount of time a subscriber might spend on the print edition.

If the goal is to deliver raw material to subscribers to use as bird-cage liners or absorbent matting for messy jobs, then mission accomplished. But if the goal is to get people to pick up the paper, read the stories, and deliver "eyeballs" to the advertisers, then putting print edition material up online a day early is insanity.

A number of newspapers are falling into the fallacy of the Internet. There are papers out there which are spending 10-20% of their newsroom budgets generating online-only content. But those same papers may be making only 5% of their revenue from their online editions, be it specific ad revenue or readership fees. That's fine, if you don't give a shit about making any money from the print edition, or if you bought the paper just to have a megaphone.

But if your idea is to make a profit, then, as I said before, putting your shit online is insane.

2 comments:

CenterPuke88 said...

Our paper has stopped offering a "Saturday" issue in stores and instead offers an "Early Sunday" paper. While missing the big exclusive stories, it has all the ads in an effort to keep it's number of views and use of ads/coupons up. Online is available for an extra fee to subscribers or as a standalone for a lower price. Reading the paper daily is discouraged by limiting monthly views via cookies and such. Of course, enabling "Private" browsing on an iPad blocks this method, and tablets are the overwhelmingly used means of reading an e-paper, so huh?

3383 said...

They can't hold the news online, everyone would go elsewhere to get the latest news.
Internet advertising needs to figure out how to be seen without interfering with why we go online. Like ads alongside newspaper stories, not on top of them.