It is easy for the average person to look at what is going on with digital publishing and predict that printed newspapers will soon be a thing of the past. But to media industry experts like Lorna Tilbian, the newspaper industry has a strong future ahead of it, provided it can adjust to the changes that technology and consumer expectations have brought.
Digital Advertising Is The Key
Tilbian has been a respected media analyst for over 25 years and her advice on which media companies to invest in has been heeded by some of the most powerful investors in the world. So when she was recently asked to give a preliminary obituary to the printed newspaper industry, she turned tables on the interviewer and insisted that newspapers will prosper in the near future.
Tilbian’s assertions come from the idea that printed newspapers can use their companion websites to fill in losses of physical advertising with digital advertising. She points out that national and regional newspapers have seen their advertising revenues level off in the past couple of years and now she predicts that those revenues will start to climb.
The Numbers Seem To Agree With Her
The Pew Research Center did a study of four American newspapers and found that, in some cases, digital advertising revenues jumped by 50 percent each year, while physical advertising revenue dropped dramatically. The Pew Research Center study indicates that successful newspapers are finding new ways to generate revenue online and that is helping to keep the print publications in business.
Some People Still Prefer Print
According to the American Press Institute, 61 percent of people who enjoy reading the news prefer to utilize a printed newspaper. Of that same group, 69 percent use computers to get their news. This indicates an overlap in where advertising revenue can come from, which is one reason why Tilbian is confident in the long-term survival of the printed newspapers and newspapers in general.
The overriding statistic that keeps the newspaper industry smiling is that 33 percent of all Americans prefer to get their news coverage all day long, and 40 percent of that same group says that they like getting more details on the stories they read. This information points to an even more important need for a strong relationship between a printed newspaper and its online companion website.
In her assessment of the future of newspapers, Tilbian is convinced that newspapers will find ways to combat destructive competition such as free classified advertising and job hunting websites with methods that generate revenue. Since the newspapers are recognized as experts in delivering up to date information, Tilbian insists that those brand names will always carry weight and that the print newspapers can fall back on their reputations when competing online. As the news industry continues to evolve, its most prominent expert is predicting success for the future. The print and online publication owners certainly hope that she is right.