Newspapers Still Struggling to Monetize the Web

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JohnP

I have a print subscription to the Wall Street Journal(the only truly profitable newspaper these days) for the past 6 months. At first, I would read it every day from front to back. Last week, I found that I had 8 days worth of newspapers lying unread on the table. I spent a good 4 hours slogging through the papers, vowing to cancel my subscription in the next couple of weeks. Just not worth flipping through the paper to find the 7-8 articles that I read the whole length.
Magazines are a different matter. I have over a dozen subscriptions (including MPC of course). I spend a lot of time reading them, pretty much every article as they are geared towards what I enjoy reading about. No issues there (heh).

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ApathyCurve

Buggy whips. They are now a medium without a market.

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CaptainFabulous

Now that newspapers have lost their monopoly they're going to have to come up with new business models. And just like the music and movie industries they are fighting it tooth and nail, and instead of blaming themselves for their inability enter the 21st century they want to blame everyone else.

It's like the horse-drawn carriage industry complaining about the advent of automobiles. Like it or not, this is the future. Embrace it, evolve, or die.

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someuid

First, the loss of 10-to-1 in advertising dollars doesn't take into account the decrease in operating costs. Where as it took $xx to print and deliver papers, it costs a fraction of $x to set up a webserver.

Second, print advertising costs were pretty high, since most newspapers are pretty much a monopoly. The last time I listed something in the classifieds, it cost me $20 for a basic ad, and that cost was the reason why that listing was the last one I did.

Third, the major difference between the print and on-line news site is time. Time as in the print version has a set number of articles, of which I can quickly browse through and read what I want. When I am done, I know I've seen everything the editor thought important for the day. The online site, however, is constantly updated all day long. The really good articles get buried in a never ending blizzard of pointless, useless updates on celebrity news or one paragraph updates to a major story.

As a result, I simply gave up getting the news in the traditional fashion - from newspapers. I now rely on sites like MaximumPC, techreport.com, hardocp.com, pcper.com, etc to see just the news I'm interested in (computers), and read the Economist during the week, since it is pretty hard core information. For all the other news, a quick check on Google News lets me see the Major Story of the Day and (thankfully) I can weed out most of the sports and entertainment news with a simple customization of their site.

I know I'm missing a lot of other news that would interest me, but the effort I have to put in to finding it while weeding out all the useless crap isn't worth it.

If the major print houses did a better job of presenting the news into daily snapshots, and I could 'go back a day' to read the news of a particlular day that I was, say, on vacation or traveling, they would get a subscription out of me.

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mattatooski

I get my newspapers via download via the Pressreader app on my transformer. It's a little cheaper and it's wonderful to not have to wrestle with the pages on a bus / train. Can't do the crosswords yet, and it is a bit frustrating knowing that you can on the ipad.

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