The future of newspapers

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A presentation I gave at the Social Media World Forum in London on the future of news and newspapers

A presentation I gave at the Social Media World Forum in London on the future of news and newspapers

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  • 1. The future of newspapers in an online world (Newspapers are dead. Long live the news!) Dirk Singer, Rabbit Twitter - @dirktherabbit / blog - liesdamnedliesstatistics.com / work - therabbitagency.com
  • 2. “Demand Media is the answer to the question, what would Internet content look like if it was entirely and solely driven by advertising revenue?  Content is commissioned based on an algorithm that calculates the lifetime value of the ads that could be run against it.” Blogger Sage Ross The future of news / content online?
  • 3. The problems newspapers face • Print costs - on the increase • Classified advertising - does better online • The recession, from which the industry will never recover • ‘News’ in newspapers is by its very nature already old once published • Top down model, someone chooses what you read for you from on high • Quite simply it’s a problem of demographics. Especially younger readers are no longer interested
  • 4. Let’s get the bad news stats out of the way 1st
  • 5. ABC Jan 08/09/2010 Assuming a conservative figure of an average of 2.5 copies per reader, that’s 3.1+ million national newspaper readers lost 2008-2010
  • 6. Or around the same as the That’s slightly population of more than the greater And 500k+ more population of Manchester + than there are Wales Liverpool unemployed Or looking at it another way
  • 7. And the long term trend Or looking at it even longer term, since 1951 the UK population has gone up 25% but newspaper circulations have gone down 30% And newspaper readers are getting older. In the US, 2/3 of the over 55s read a newspaper every day, for 18-34 year olds that’s 23%
  • 8. And in the US... • Newspaper circulation is down 7 million over the last 25 years while unique readership of online news is up 34 million in the last 5 years • Newspaper advertising fell nearly 19 percent this year while web advertising is up 9 percent and mobile advertising is up 18 percent • More video was uploaded to YouTube in the last 2 months than if ABC, CBS, and NBC had been airing all-new content every minute of every day since 1948 • We have access to more than 1 trillion web pages, 100,000 iPhone apps, and send more text messages a day than there are people on the planet • (From blogger / publisher Arianna Huffington at an FTC Conference on the Future of Journalism in Washington DC)
  • 9. “The thing that worries me most at the moment about the condition of journalism is, frankly, who’s going to pay for the journalists and the journalism in 10 years’ time? My kids wouldn’t dream of buying a newspaper — and we are a newspaper household.” BBC Presenter and former newspaper editor, Andrew Marr The morning paper just isn’t as much of an ‘essential’ anymore
  • 10. Newspapers no longer ‘essential’ From Pew Research in the US: The importance of word of C'#')-#+%2-#'02-(#0"#')-#A?#C.C7-#85610+)-.# mouth and personalisation %#+54/-<#+),30"7#')%'#D%&-6,,*(#3)0&)#0+# • Fewer than half of Americans (43%) say that losing their local newspaper would hurt civic life in 4%80.1<#6-&,20"7#')-#E,,71-#,$#+,&0%1# !"#$%&'(#')%"*+#',#')-#%./-"'#,$#+,&0%1#2-.0%(# their community "a lot." Even fewer (33%) say they would personally miss reading the local "-'3,4*+(#.40/-+#2,4-#'4%$$0&#',#&-4'%0"#*-<# 3,4.#,$#2,5')#0+#6-&,20"7#2,4-#028,4'%"'# newspaper a lot if it were no longer available.3-6+0'-+#')%"#E,,71-#0'+-1$(#.-+80'-#)%/0"7#%# 3)-"#0'#&,2-+#',#+84-%.0"7#"-3+9### ')04.#,$#0'+#'4%$$0&9 :-;/-#%14-%.<#2-"'0,"-.#')-#=>?#@070'%1# • +'5.<(#3)0&)#+),3-.#')%'#0"#')-#AB#$40-".+#%4-# read a newspaper the previous day compared to 55% of those Only 27% of generation Y (post 1977) born pre 1946 F-%"3)01-#%&&,4.0"7#',#G0'30+-(#')-#20&4,H ')-#2,+'#'45+'-.#+,54&-#,$#"-3+9### 61,770"7#81%'$,42#=30''-4#,/-4',,*#AB# "-3+8%8-4+#0"#'-42+#,$#,"10"-#4-%&)#0"#F%4&)9 • Less than a quarter of those younger than age 40 (23%) say they would miss the local newspaper they read most often a lot if it were to go out of business or shut down. That compares with 33% of those ages 40 to 64 and 55% of those age 65 and older “There have always been millions of brilliant minds in the human population...journalism in the past limited our access to these minds, so we perceived that top papers had the “few” people worth spending to see. But now that I can find you, or anyone else I deem smart or wise or reporting real news that I find useful, I can flow to this huge real supply of intelligence. The profits disappear as the friction between content supply and demand are gone. “ (Ben Kunz, from planning shop Media Associates and editor of ‘Thought Gadgets’)
  • 11. Most essential media (Ofcom) Only 4% of adults chose newspapers and magazines as most essential media. For 16-24 year olds mobiles are second ahead of PC+Internet
  • 12. +##$)"#$7.)#%.#)$&+$&.$ B1%'-+$C$A(2()&'$D(E#+F$+)4-*6 (901%)&.)$.#/+$+14%3#$L40$ $!"(+$'(.V+$(.)1$)"#$)%#.-$ $$ 8%19$NSK$(.$;<<;P,$/"('#$1.'*$ /#FE#$W4+)$9#.)(1.#-X$!"&.V+$ G4)$18$&''$314.)%(#+$ JQK$+&*$)"#$+&9#$&514)$ )1$)"#(%$1.'(.#$#-()(1.+,$ Trusted media (TNS - Dec 2008) +4%E#*#-,$)"#$HI$"&-$)"#$ '1/#+)$&914.)$18$)%4+)$81%$ .#/+0&0#%+$&%#$%#&3"(.2$91%#$ .#/+0&0#%+$L-1/.$8%19$Q<K$ 0#10'#$)"&.$#E#%$Y$W4+)$.1)$(.$ (.$;<<JP6 .#/+0&0#%+,$/()"$;JK$+&*(.2$ 0%(.)6$ )"#*$@"(2"'*$)%4+)#-F$L&.$=M$1.$ &$+31%#$18$NON<P$.#/+0&0#%+6 High trust’ UK Global Friends 45% 42% TV 35% 41% Online News 40% 40% Newspapers 23% 39% Blogs 6% 10%
  • 13. “Let’s assume you’re a mid-level “Let’s talk about Afghanistan. government executive, and it’s a How many free bloggers are there crime to leak information for that are in a safe-house in purposes of discussion. Are you Afghanistan with the necessary willing to leak to a blogger who has support structure to do the kind no track record of protecting his or of deep investigative reporting on her own sources, versus the New what’s really going on in the war? York Times, which routinely sends its I’m not talking about the ones people to jail over this question of a that are embedded in the shield law.” government.” (Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google) But - people still want news from respected sources
  • 14. 96% of ‘new news’ broken by traditional media
  • 15. 1 - The hybrid future and the rise of media 2 - The print publication brands as an elite product Two ways newspapers will evolve
  • 16. "Not all readers demand such quality, but the educated, opinion-leading, news-junkie core of the audience always will. They will insist on it as a defense against "persuasive communication," the euphemism for advertising, public relations and spin that exploits the confusion of information overload. “Readers need and want to be equipped with truth- based defenses.” Philip Meyer, author of The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age Newspapers as an ‘elite’ product
  • 17. “Those papers that wake up in time will become a journalistic hybrid combining the best aspects of traditional print newspapers with the best of what the Web brings to the table.” (Arianna Huffington) A hybrid future
  • 18. "This isn't just a kind of fad from someone who's an enthusiast of technology.   I'm afraid you're not doing your job if you can't do those things.   It's not discretionary..." “...if you don't like it, if you think that level of change or that different way of working isn't right for me, then go and do something else, because it's going to happen."  Peter Horrocks, Director of BBC Global News Every journalist is a now a potential blogger
  • 19. And they feed off blogs • A study by George Washington University and Cision found that 89% of journalists turn to blogs for research, 65% to social media sites like Facebook, 52% to Twitter.   • And Wikipedia?  Over 6/10 (61%) consult it. • Overall 55% of journalists thought that social media was either somewhat or very important • However, at the same time 84% said it was ’slightly less’ or ‘much less’ reliable than traditional media.
  • 20. PWC - Forget newspapers or TV • We now have ‘media brands’ • “The media pillars of the future will be trusted brands. There will still be a role for news brands and premium content. • “Let’s be clear about this. While social networking and user- generated content are important, the consumer still values brands and content. • “We need to stop talking about the demise of newspapers and start talking about the rise of news brands.” (Marcel Fenez, PWC)
  • 21. What’s the difference between these two?
  • 22. Spot the difference? • They both are the online versions of traditional media properties...and are becoming increasingly important to both organisations • They have both acquired a life of their own outside their traditional media parent • They both give journalists an outlet for news and views beyond the traditional media (staff blogs, wider range of content) • They both use images and text based stories • ....and they both use audio and video
  • 23. Is she a writer, a broadcaster or blogger?
  • 24. The job of the journalist / blogger (From Editor and Publisher) 1.Long-form stories and features....but less of those 2.Regular updates during the day - essentially short updates and articles 3.Instant updates - basically tweets
  • 25. So in summary.... • Print media is in a long cycle of decline, and that won’t end with the recession • The print demographic is getting older, especially for the under 30s, print media simply isn’t on their radar or is part of their lives • Printed newspapers and magazines won’t die out, but they will become more specialised, and focus less on news and more on features and investigations • New and traditional media is converging - traditional media outlets online adopting new media practices. Journalists acting more like bloggers • In future it will be less about newspapers, television etc but more about generic, trusted media brands
  • 26. What does this mean for brand communicators? • Stop thinking in terms of print / broadcast / online outlets - think of where content can go across news brands • Personalise your information to the journalist / blogger concerned - they are brands in their own right. What outlets does s/he have other than the normal publication. Is s/he active on Twitter, does s/he have a blog - both an official and unofficial • Be aware of a reduced news cycle - the press release loop where you go through 12 people to get it approved doesn’t work anymore
  • 27. What does this mean for brand communicators? • Stop thinking of the big number. Journalists read blogs. Blogs affect search. Even a blog with 100 daily readers can have an impact of what people think about you • Without engaging in brand spam, think about how you can integrate your news operation into social media as a whole
  • 28. Thank you! Any questions, dirk@therabbitagency.com