Layoffs, consolidations and shut downs have been the recent sad storyline of the US newspaper and magazine industry. According to the Newspaper Association of America, print ad revenues have dropped 29.6% over the past five years.
Blame innovation for the free fall. US readers have shifted from traditional print and are now tapping search engines, social media and digital video as news sources.
Prophets of doom have declared the US newspaper and magazine industry as a vestige of a bygone era. Moody’s Investors Service sees continued stress on print volumes and pricing in 2015.
As hardcopy paper formats lose favor, publishers who are serious about survival are shifting priorities to service a growing digital audience.
Here’s why: ComScore, an internet analytics company, reported that the digital audience serviced by newspaper reached another peak in October 2014 at 166 million unique visitors, an impressive 17% increase from a year ago. Plus, in 2014, 80% of adult online users read digital newspaper content on a monthly basis. Those who use only mobile devices—smartphones or tablets—for newspaper digital content grew by 85% over the past twelve months.
The statistics prove that the US population is still a passionate consumer of news. The academic expression “publish or perish” is relevant here, however traditional media must put the emphasis on digital publishing or they will indeed perish.
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