The rise of Internet media hasn’t been too kind on the newspaper industry. From emptier newsrooms to less thick editions of the daily paper, the signs are obvious that the former dominating force in media is struggling.
The effects of the Internet on newspapers comes from a myriad of different factors. For one, newspapers haven’t developed a model to make money while their content is free. The fear of losing readership if they charge for online content has been a big issue, but The New York Times is implementing a strategy that the industry hopes will work.
Online readers will be able to read 20 free articles a month on the website. After that, they must pay for an online subscription, which starts at $15 for a four-week session. Whether or not the plan will work for The Times and other outlets remains to be seen, but it shows the struggle of papers.
Also, advertising online doesn’t bring in nearly the same amount of money that actual advertisements in newspapers bring in, and advertisers are beginning to steer away from putting their products in papers because of the losses in circulation.
Here are some statistics to show just how badly the Internet has affected newspapers:
- Circulation dropped 6 percent in 2010, and 12 percent before that in 2009 for the newspaper industry as a whole.
- Newspapers made a profit, ending the year with 5 percent profit margins, but that is about a quarter of what it was at the beginning of the 1990s.
- Advertising brought in $26 billion in 2010, compared to $46 billion in 2003, a drop of 48 percent
- Out of the biggest newspapers in the country, only the Wall Street Journal had an increase in circulation at 1.83 percent
- Newsroom workforce has declined about 20 percent since 2006, dropping from 52,000 people to near 42,000
- About 200 newspapers have had to close since 1900, dropping from 16,111 dailys to 1,387
Statistics retrieved from State of the Media, an annual look at the world of journalism.