Saturday, June 29, 2013

Rising newspaper digital subscriptions are a small gain in a war of attrition: Guardian

The good news: things aren't going from bad to worse as quickly as expected. The Digital News Report 2013 from the Reuters Institute shows an increasing number of readers – including young readers – prepared to subscribe to newspapers that have built paywalls, and 9% of Britons, 10% of Germans, 12% of Americans and 13% of the French say they've paid up for digital news within the past year.
And the latest Newspaper Association of America review of the year shows press revenues dropped a mere 2%, the best result since 2006. Circulation money (including paywall subs) was up 5%. Money from sponsorship began to flow.
But if you want bad news, such surveys can instantly oblige. Print advertising was 6% down – and digital advertising, supposedly the wonder ingredient of newspaper salvation, only crawled up by 4%.
It's a long, hard war of attrition. And the central challenge, at root, may not be winning but losing more slowly while the trailblazers find other solutions.

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