According to the inaugural HubCiti Publishers’ Confidence & Technology Report, the overall confidence in the sustainability of the local and regional newspaper industry has remained virtually unchanged from last year. However, 33% of publishers believe that the industry is getting better, likely based on new technologies, new ways of thinking about their business model, and the new sources of revenue available with digital and social products and services.
Consumers of news also responded that they are more likely to view news on a mobile app or website than print, providing additional opportunities for publishers to better target readers with the advanced digital services now available.
Gregory J. Osberg, CEO and founder of Revlyst, notes that “… the main benefit that newspaper content provides is its high level of journalistic integrity, credibility and quality… news consumers are tired of clickbait stories… seeking more locally-focused stories… that they can act on in their communities… only the papers have the resources and editorial knowledge to provide that level of local content… ”
87% of publisher respondents rank print ads and classifieds as very important to revenue generation. Respondents ranked subscriptions and website as second and third, with 74% and 64%, stating they are very important to revenue generation.
Respondents ranked video as the least important to revenue, with 60% stating it was not important.
Among publisher revenue generation strategies the greatest increase in anticipated revenue generation comes from mobile apps, says the report, with a 14% increase over the next 12 months, beating out print ads, subscriptions, websites, events and video. 63% of respondents stated they believe implementing new digital services will help generate additional revenue, but only 43% have plans to implement in the next six months.
Considering consumer responses, 36% of consumer respondents stated that they mainly received their local news from TV, and 23% said online news aggregators (with specific newspaper websites being the lowest at 5%.)
RoyTruitt, CEO of HubCiti, concludes “… publishers know they need to implement advanced digital services… within the next six to twelve months every newspaper will need to ramp up mobile-digital… to meet market and consumer expectations… to redefine themselves as the source of hyper-local information of all kinds, not just news… ”
N.B. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
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