Readership statistics show that the newspaper industry is still a vital source of information. There is no surprise to these reports as newspapers consistently and reliably provide the latest, most accurate and important stories. And the audiences recognize this. Even to younger generations, who are responsible for growing mobile newspaper readership, the industry proves to be a relevant source of information.
Newspapers have always been the mainspring of our society, and that did not change with the digital revolution. Since the past few years, the newspaper industry have been going through experimenting and transforming to match the pace of a fast-evolving digital world. Today, news content is everywhere and is easily accesible at a touch of a finger. Technology is not killing the industry. It is, in fact, fortifying content by providing a platform that extends audience reach for every story. It allows for news content to be shared exponentially, boosting its value for audiences of all ages.
Caroline Little, former President and CEO of the Newspaper Association of America, shares five ways the newspaper industry has evolved with the times. We’d see that it continues to innovate just like any other industry. But the industry sticks to its commitment to inform, educate and bring together communities and societies.
1. Social media
These days we are always “plugged in,” because we want to be up-to-date on the latest happenings. Increasingly, people are getting their news through social media. Newspapers have been successful in bringing the news directly to social media users. USA Today, for example, uses Snapchat to cover live sporting events through instantly-delivered photos and captions. Periscope, Twitter’s live-streaming service that debuted in the spring, is being leveraged by reporters and media outlets as a way to give viewers the inside look at breaking news, sports events, and even political press conferences. The New York Times used WhatsApp, a messaging app that is incredibly popular outside the United States, to broadcast information about the Pope’s visit to South America to its international audience. And the experiment of Facebook Instant Articles, which hosts articles directly within its social platform for a seamless user experience, has seen initial interest by publishers as a way to attract new subscribers.
Newspapers have developed niche apps with customized content, such as the New York Times App and the Denver Post’s Colorado Ski Guide, to build on popular features and further engage specific audiences looking to more deeply explore their areas of interest.
3. Print special features
While print products continue to provide the best quality for reporting local, national, and global news, newspapers have also evolved their offerings in response to readers’ desires for quality leisure-reading. For example, some have begun offering expanded Sunday sections, such as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s lifestyle section, “Live, Life, Love.” Similarly, the Chicago Tribune has doubled its opinion pages, following the growing reader interest in local commentary.
4. Native advertising
Advertisers are still taking notice of the growing audience and continued demand for newsworthy, useful content. This has inspired the recent interest in native advertising, or sponsored content, which doesn’t disrupt the reader experience and provides more valuable and relevant information. This approach gives people more of what they want – quality content – and less of what they don’t – a sales pitch – while driving traffic to advertiser sites and their products; all while being tailored to their specific interests. Native advertising improves ad performance, and combining native with social media is an advertising “1-2 punch,” particularly as people get their news increasingly through social media channels. Ensuring native ad content is consistent with a publication’s trusted brand and reputation is of utmost importance to our members that has allowed newspapers to become leaders in this growing form of advertising.
5. New revenue streams
Less than a decade ago, 80 percent of newspaper revenue came from print advertising. Today, the revenue stream is much more diverse with less than half of total revenue derived from advertising in the traditional daily and Sunday print products. Event marketing, digital marketing services, and increasing circulation content along with other sources account for the bulk of newspaper company revenue.
Realview helps news organizations and help them make informed decisions about why and how to utilize today’s digital platforms. Keep reading to learn how Realview creates value and join our multitude of clients who turn the page from their traditional format and evolve into an online or mobile newspaper to stand out!