General-interest print newspapers, born 1690 in America, are predicted to pass away by 2022. They have served well reaching millions of people every day on topics that cover everything from politics, health, technology, environment, security and more. They are being survived by its digital kin, online news. But is it boom or doom when it comes to digital newspapers?
While sums of money are being invested in online newspapers, The Economist reports that U.S. newspaper advertising revenue is on the decline – a 60% drop since 2005. With ever increasing real estate for online advertising, digital newspapers have no choice but to cut their prices to stay competitive. Digital companies are also up against programmatic buying that is completely objective when it comes to placement. And with the resurgence of ad-blocking, online news is forced to think of new creative ways to make money.
Some online newspapers are charging a subscription fee or turning to selling individual articles, but readers will just turn their head to free alternative sources of news. Native advertising has been effective, but is it enough?
Online newspapers need a plan. Maybe that plan is to develop more niche content to reach specific audiences. Maybe it’s to offer more services that readers are willing to pay for. Either which way, right now investors in only news are not getting a good return. So I guess they’ll have to return to the drawing board.