Newspaper Subscribers Stick Around Longer, Pay More

By Andrew Gauthier 


Amid all the bleak news for newspapers, there’s something good going on: Subscribers are sticking with their papers for longer — and frequently paying more.

The cancellation rate for newspaper subscribers has plunged pretty incredibly, to 31.8% last year from 54.5% in 2000 and from 36.6% in 2006, according to new statistics out from the Newspaper Association of America. That’s despite price increases for home delivery, which brought the average seven-day delivery price to $3.66 in 2007 from $3.37 in 2006.

How are newspapers — frequently cast as the internet’s saddest victims — pulling this off during the terrible economic times?

It was necessity: They couldn’t keep running up paid circulation numbers at any cost and expecting advertisers to pay all the bills.

“The economic environment, meaning the tough advertising revenue environment, makes everybody stop and start thinking a bit more about profitability, and specifically circulation profitability,” said John Murray, VP-circulation at the newspaper association. More…