“Reports of Newsprint’s demise has been greatly exaggerated,” to paraphrase Mark Twain. Newspapers have been impacted by the general public’s ability to access news and articles online, there is no question. Plenty of sources are available that amalgamate new stories with limited or even no advertising, but most people tend to prefer a localized news source. Seeing local stories, local business advertising and local event announcements seem to be a part of the key to survival for printed newspapers. Which newspapers are doing the best in the current struggle to maintain revenue share? The “All Digital” model, the “Hybrid” or the traditional printed newspaper?
The answer may surprise some, but the traditional papers that have embraced the digital distribution channels to become “hybrids” have been having the most success. Many of these “hybrids” have accomplished this by increasing subscription rates. Even though this may cost a certain percentage of subscribers, the reduced costs for printing and delivery of fewer physical copies can help to make up for the difference. Some even attempted to increase the cost of classified advertising, but in the current economy it is more common to see discounts or “added value” packages to entice advertisers. Many have had to embrace some of the digital software, such as display software and newspaper web order entry software to increase efficiency and cut costs.
Something most of us don’t think of is the process involved in putting together a newspaper. There are the ads, the editorials, the classifieds, the photos, there are hundreds of details to consider. You wouldn’t want to see an ad for a funeral home next to the supermarket coupons, for instance. Once the content is decided on, it has to be printed out and cut and pasted together, corrections made, proofs approved, etc. Here is where the digital age has really benefited the newspaper business.