Ditch Print For Digital? Not So Fast

Print is dead, you say? Whoa there digital guru. Seems a study has concluded what we all know, ad revenue for digital media simply isn’t sufficient to allow for the transition from print to digital. So says Enders Analysis’ Benedict Evans anyway.

Switching off the presses, after a hypothetical future print-to-digital tipping point, might save newspapers 25 percent of their total costs – but this is not enough to make up the gap from the smaller online income, Evans says.

Even adding iPad income to web paywall revenue would only total half the income newspapers are currently making from print.

This is essentially the quandary of trading physical dollars for digital dimes. Publishers like Rupert Murdoch may be starting to conceive of a time, at least in theory, when paid tablet and web editions become popular enough to consider switching off print…

The problem with that, these numbers would suggest – even if all digital readers pay, publishers may need to double annual income per online customer to get there (ie. hike TheTimes.co.uk from £2 to £4 a week, and the iPad edition from £9.99 a month to £19.99).

How’s this for a corollary? – If that sounds bad, imagine the situation for publishers whose websites are not starting charging.

Until a new advertising model is worked out, journalists who want to actually get paid for their work better pray print sticks around.

H/T Romenesko