The decline of the newspaper business has evolved over the past generations driven by the mistake of many early papers giving away much of their content for free online. That’s led most newspapers to reduce the size of their daily paper, made multi-tasking a job requirement for those still working there while others have simply fallen by the wayside.
Yet a funny thing happened on the way to the last rites of the newspaper business, with news that subscriptions to newspapers are up. While the pre-internet age only focused on home subscriptions, the current business model also includes those who subscribe through either online or mobile portals.
For example, even though current American President Donald Trump has described the legendary New York Times as a failing institution, the reality is that in November of last year, the Times managed to add 130,000 subscribers to their rolls. Critics would note that the revenue received is very much diminished from the glory days of the industry.
Ironically, Trump’s penchant for volatile remarks is one reason attributed for the surge, considering the controversial comments he makes help bring with them retorts from writers from the paper. Similarly, the Washington Post is actually hiring new reporters and the Los Angeles Times saw an estimated jump of 61 percent in the area of subscribers.
The lowered subscription price is generally on a month-to-month basis, which might be cause for angst from some quarters. However, newspapers believe that connecting with their audiences on any platform will help breed 21st Century loyalty.
One of the keys to luring customers is a scarcity, if not total absence, of online ads. Part of that is marketing to the customers, who’ve shown their disdain toward such intrusions, while another facet is simply that online advertising has tanked.