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My November 2012 comments about accessing and paying for digital news content

November 2012 ToledoTalk.com thread titled The Blade begins All Access subscription for online content

My comments from that thread:

1. - Excerpts from the Facebook comments posted at the Blade article about charging for digital access:

  • "I will survive and just get my news from someplace else like television"
  • "Time to get used to the local TV web sites for my local news."
  • "What a joke! Charge for access to online content? Plenty of other places to get the news."

Everyone probably has a different definition of "news," but how much news can be found on local TV news websites? How much local news can you get by watching a local TV news station?

I assume that some people who produce a product would like to be paid, so I don't see the problem with them charging a fee for their product. And if the product sucks, then a consumer can stop paying for it.

It's rare, probably not even once a month, that I watch a local TV news program. Unless it's a major event, I think TV is the worst source for acquiring news or information. Watching TV for news/info is too restrictive, and it requires too much time investment.

It has been a few years since I last held and read a printed newspaper, including the weeklies. With tablets, smartphones, apps, and better designed websites, I think the printed newspaper is pointless. So I would buy the Blade's $5.99 digital-only access plan.


"Only a fool would pay to read news on the Internet."

2. - Good analysis. Concise and poignant.

And only fools dine at restaurants because they could save a lot of money by buying the food at the store and preparing it at home. I can't believe able-bodied homeowners outsource their lawncare functions to a for-profit business. It must have something to do with choice.

The way the media landscape is rapidly changing in the United States, soon it will be only fools who pay to read news on printed paper, assuming the print option even exists. Some small orgs or clubs that provided its paying members with a printed newsletter have switched to digital-only. It's the trend.

The newspaper industry has spent the last 10 to 15 years trying to adapt to the technological changes that have caused us to consume information in new ways. It may take several more years of innovation before the newspaper industry finds a sustainable model. They have to try new things and maybe fail at times in order to get to the solution quicker.

It's expected that in two or three years, most of the Web access in the U.S. (outside of work) will be done on smartphones and tablets and not on desktop/laptop computers.

A few of my recently collected media links :

November 2012 - Newspapers report ad revenue loss for 25th quarter in a row

November 2012 - Mobile-first and the future of media

October 2012 - Digital first isn’t an option for media — it’s the only way forward

October 2012 - Future of mobile news

October 2012 - More Tablet Owners Read News than Use Social Networking Sites

October 2012 - Trends show online ad revenue will overtake print this year

October 2012 - By year’s end, tablet users in the United States alone are expected to exceed 70 million, up from 13 million just two years ago.

August 2012 discussion How will readers consume long-form journalism five years from now?

July 2012 - Which mobile devices are owners using most frequently for news?

July 2012 - The iPad becomes the evening newspaper

July 2012 - Mobile Is Where The Growth Is


September 2012 - Pew: Half of Americans get news digitally, topping newspapers, radio

More Americans get news online than from radios or newspapers.

"Only about a third (34%) of those younger than 30 say they watched TV news yesterday; in 2006, nearly half of young people (49%) said they watched TV news the prior day," the report says.


October 2012 - Less Than A Quarter Of Americans Read Print Newspapers

... just 23 percent reading a print newspaper.

... a declining proportion gets news or reads other material on paper on a typical day. Many readers are now shifting to digital platforms to read the papers.

Substantial percentages of the regular readers of leading newspapers now read them digitally. Currently, 55 percent of regular New York Times readers say they read the paper mostly on a computer or mobile device, as do 48 percent of regular USA Today and 44 percent of Wall Street Journal readers.


October 2012 - Let me guess: You sleep with your iPad, don’t you?

A study released by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism finds most news junkies who own tablets use them before 8 a.m. and in the after-work hours.

For many, more devices means more news, according to the study. Pew found 43 percent of tablet owners say they are getting more news now than they were before they got the device, and 31 percent say they’re adding new sources into their information diet.

Nearly a quarter of U.S. adults now own a tablet, and more than half of U.S. adults have smartphones.

People who get news on their devices multiple times per day, on either the smartphone or tablet, tend to turn to more sources, get news from new sources, read in-depth news articles, watch news videos, and send and receive news through email or social networks.

Tablet news consumers who get news more than one time during the day are also twice as likely as those who get news once a day to have paid for news on their tablet.

... fewer people, as a percentage, reported paying for the news on mobile devices in 2012 compared with last year. Pew chalks that up to the broadening population of tablet owners — and not necessarily a decline in willingness to buy the news.

Pew’s findings also reinforce the idea that tablets are an after-work “lean back” experience for most users. Evening remains the most popular time of day for people to turn to their tablets.

And while tablet owners reported scanning headlines on their devices, they’re also turning to them for longer reads. Some news organizations have already built editorial schedules around these habits.

Most tablet and smartphone users are still relying more on mobile browsers than on news apps, by a ratio of more than 2:1. Those who prefer apps tend to be more engaged with the news, Pew found.

So where does the old-school portable news product — print — fit into the mix? Not all of the most plugged-in news consumers have abandoned the medium. Most people opt for some bundle of digital and print habits, with a quarter of those surveyed saying they’re considering switching out the print component for digital-only.

Consumers who use tablets, smartphones, laptops, and print reported spending the most time getting news on a tablet — 77 minutes — and the least time getting news on a smartphone — 51 minutes. But print only got five minutes more attention than smartphones.


October 2012 - New York Times circulation up 40% as newspaper numbers generally flat

The New York Times reported a 40 percent increase in Monday-Friday circulation, driven by digital subscription packages, with a 28 percent increase in Sunday circulation over the same time last year. The Times now has about 25 percent more digital subscribers during the week than print subscribers.

On Sundays, print subscriptions still exceed digital.
The Times is not the only paper shifting to a more heavily digital mix, as Rick Edmonds’ analysis explains. ABC reports that “digital circulation now accounts for 15.3 percent of newspapers’ total circulation mix, up from 9.8 percent in September 2011.”


"Question: When is The Blade going to publish a Kindle edition of the paper?"

3. - Do you have the Kindle Fire or the e-book-only style of the Kindle? If the former, point the tablet's browser at the mobile-friendly site, located at http://m.toledoblade.com

Some newspapers offer a Kindle Edition, such as the Detroit Free Press, which costs $6.99 a month. This format was fine two-plus years ago, but I don't think it's necessary to provide this option today.

Too many tablet and smartphone users exist today who prefer to use the device's Web browser and not download an app for every website that they visit. And this particular user base will continue to increase rapidly as more people buy the smaller tablets priced between $200 and $350.

More websites are being designed or redesigned to accommodate all the devices. The geeks describe this type of development as "responsive design" or "progressive enhancement." It basically means design one website, but make it work well on all devices.

Examples of responsive design:

Visit the above websites on your desktop/laptop, and then resize your browser to see how the sites rearrange the columns and resize the images to display properly. Visit the same sites with a tablet or a smartphone and view them in both landscape and portrait modes.

But apps still have a place. Blade apps:


"... slow but steady dying off of the 50-65 demographic, which according to my understanding was Internet averse, news wise."

4. - Excerpts from a couple June 2012 stories:

A demographic analysis of U.S. tablet users found that the heaviest audience concentration was between the ages of 25-44, accounting for 45.8 percent of users.

Compared to smartphone owners, tablet users were 28 percent more likely to be in the 65 and older age segment, and 27 percent less likely to be age 18-24.

Tablet users also skewed towards upper income households, likely a function of the high price point of these devices still considered a luxury good to many consumers. Nearly 3 in 5 tablet users resided in households with income of $75,000 or greater.

The "older" age group with their aging eyesight may prefer the larger tablet screens when reading for long stretches. The tablets are causing some people to read more and to go back to reading longer articles. The pile of magazines, books, and newspapers still exist, but they are compressed in a tablet.

Info from another graphic about tablet users:

More recent tablet users are:

  • Female = 56%
  • Older = 38% are 50-64
  • Less tech savvy
  • Leisure users
  • Educated, upper income consumers

Most people would pay a modest fee for:

  • movies 22%
  • games 21%
  • music 20%
  • magazines 16%
  • TV shows 14%
  • newspapers 12%

We love using tablets for:

  • getting weather 54%
  • getting local news 48%
  • listening to music 47%
  • playing games 44%
  • social networking 42%
  • watching videos 42%
  • browsing the net 33%
  • online shopping 28%

Misc info:

  • 80% of tablet owners have paid for content.
  • Consumers pay for content that is free online in order to access it on a tablet.
  • Legacy print-like content (in all of its forms) is shaping up as a potential 'killer app' on tablets.
  • Unlike Web models, consumers see the tablet more along the lines of a smartphone and are willing to pay for content.

#media - #web - #mobile - #tablet - #blog_jr

By JR - 1904 words
created: - updated:
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