Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Business Problem

Here's one:

The Post is struggling with declining circulation and ad revenue, even as it draws record numbers of readers online. The Post's weekday circulation, which was over 800,000 early in this decade, averaged 673,000 in the six months ended March 31, the seventh-highest in the country. It has more than nine million Internet readers each month, according to Nielsen online, behind The New York Times and USA Today. Like the rest of the industry, it has found it hard to turn its digital audience into significant revenue.

OK. So your flagship product is in free-fall, but your online product is growing strongly in terms of readers (of course it is - it's free, it's online, what did you expect) but you can't get any decent revenue out of them.

What advertisers are prepared to pay for online readers just doesn't stack up, readers won't pay for online content, certainly not general interest (IT'S FREE BABY) and all these newsites are being paid for by declining (but still respectable) margins on declining, aging print readership.

The solution therefore is to meld, mesh, weave, merge, intergrate, leverage, what the ever, your sinking flagship operation with a new one that isn't making any money.

And all will be well.

Explain, please.

This is what goes for newspaper strategy in 2008.

The idea of re-visiting the fundamental business model of the newspaper (printing 24 hour old or more news, on paper) hasn't changed in hundreds of years, and nobody seems to want to discuss this.

Curious. If we want to talk about legacy problems, I'd say this industry has a few.

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