Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Newspapers f&*^ed?

Mark Fletcher
March 31st, 2008 · No Comments

The Newspaper Association of America has reported the biggest fall in ad revenue for US newspapers in 50 years. See the Editor & Publisher report for details then go to Jeff Jarvis’ BuzzMachine blog for his view and the view of his broad cross-section commenters.

While we feel a long way from the slide in newspaper fortunes regularly reported out of the US, that is no reason to think this will not happen here. Our excellent retail and distribution channels, innovative publisher initiatives and limited owner diversity are protecting Australia from the forces at work in the US.

Retail newsagents rely on the traffic generated by newspapers. The daily or almost daily purchase is the foundation of loyalty for purchases in other categories. I’d guess that few newsagents have a plan in place for when this traffic dries up. While regulars herewill see me playing with various options in my newsagencies, there is considerably more to be done.

With between 50% (rural) and 73% (suburban) of newspapers sold alone, the risk to newsagency traffic should newspapers catch cold is considerable. This is hat newsagents need to discuss and debate at regional meetings, conferences and conventions. It’s a newsagent problem and only newsagents and those working for them will find the appropriate solution – I say this because publishers can only discuss this from the perspective of their share price.

Are newspapers f&*^ed?  No, I don’t think so.  They’re facing considerable change as is our channel.

There are other ways to ask this question but I’ll leave that for another time.

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Category: Media disruption · Newsagency challenges · Newspapers

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