Today, Vin Crosbie, taking inspiration and analysis from a well-respected economics professor, Robert G. Picard, has put together an illustrated case for why 2044 might arrive sooner than you might expect and why growing efforts to create profitable web sites might fail to save an industry.
So, the newspaper industry is lucky to have its websites’ revenues. Yet, as print edition circulation declines, the average newspaper will need between 20 to 100 website users to replace the revenues lost from each former print edition user.
Unless ways can be found to increase the per user revenues generated from newspaper websites, newspapers need to gain fantastic numbers of Web site users just to replace the declines in print edition revenues. A 50,000 circulation daily would need to gain a million to 50 million Web site users to postpone the time when it’s no longer economically feasible to produce its printed edition!
It’s sad. Decades of declining circulation (long before people started getting their news from the Internet) and newspapers still do not understand why people aren’t reading them.
I am old enough to remember when my town had two competing newspapers and when USA Today first hit the press and was labeled McNews.
You are right readership declined years before the web. You are also right that web sites are likely not to replace the income lost. In my lifetime, there seems to have been a strong shift in interest of the public. When I was in highschool we watched the presidential debates and talked about who we should vote for. Now , sadly, the debate is over who should be or should not be voted off American Idol.