Another nail in the coffin for newspapers

End of the newspaper

As if the struggling newspaper industry needed some more bad news about its future outlook, a survey done by the trusted Pew Research Centre provides just that. This recent survey showed that 26% of Americans read their news on their cell phones. Think about that for a minute. 5 Years ago or so, that number would be much closer to 0%. It’s bad enough that people are choosing the internet over the newspaper for their news at quickly growing rates, now an additional way to read news on the internet has become very popular.

The news gets even worse for the future of the newspaper. This survey also showed that among adults under the age of 50, 43% of them read news on their mobile devices. That is almost half of the population reading news on cell phones and that doesn’t include those who read it off their computers or TV. This doesn’t leave very much for the traditional newspaper. However, only 15% of those older than 50 years read the news on a mobile device. This clearly shows that newspapers are significantly more popular with the older generations. The problem here should be obvious to you; it is that these older generations are not going to be around forever and at that point, the traditional newspaper will not have a significant following at all.

Of all the ways to read the news today, the traditional newspaper is the most inefficient medium. In fact, the moment it is printed it instantly becomes obsolete. There is no updating it, correcting it or adding to it. The internet and TV can do these things on the fly and can truly keep readers up to date. The newspaper industry still has some of the top writers on board which attract readers and provide interesting view points and in depth stories due to the sources they have cultivated over the years. However, as the readership dwindles with time, these writers may move to internet news sites or perhaps their own sites which may be the final nail in the coffin for the newspaper industry as a whole.

That scenario is still quite a while away because newspapers have been deeply ingrained in everyone’s culture so even though young people have little use for it, the older generations are not likely to shift away from them in large numbers anytime soon.

I have painted a fairly gloomy picture for the present and future of newspapers and I did this without even mentioned advertising revenues. However, this is another problem the industry faces. Advertisers have more options to reach their audience than just the newspaper, specifically online options. For instance, there are a multitude of online classifieds that can replace the newspaper editions and advertisers can take their advertising budgets to the websites. The same goes for the autos section and just about all other sections.

It is just a matter of time before newspapers begin to phase out their traditional papers and focus more on other mediums like the internet.