INMA Blog Post: The No. 1 reason for optimism about the future of newspapers? Our audiences

By Dan Johnson

Newspapers’ commanding — and continuing — hold on audiences across platforms hints that the medium’s future will be secure for years to come.


I was astounded this past week to receive the March 31, 2013, AAM Snapshot (formerly Fas-Fax) report.

It wasn’t so much the incredible year-over-year gains in total circulation. In fact, as has been discussed and reported in other blogs and articles, it is really meaningless to make year-over-year comparisons due to new categories of digital and branded edition circulation.

No, what struck me (and this is what newspaper companies have been trying to drive home for years) were the incredible audiences that newspapers continue to command!

When I was director of sales and marketing at The Spokesman-Review, one of my favourite things to do was to use readership studies to create promotional ads that compared the reach and penetration of The Review to other media in the market.

We would brainstorm clever representations that would illustrate the number of TV spots or radio ads you would need to run to match the reach of the daily newspaper.

There was not another media outlet in the market that could even come close to the number of consumers the newspaper touched on a daily basis, and this is especially true when you look at the net combined audience of print and digital together!

Advertising revenue continues to be a challenge at most media companies — not just newspapers. But in the newspaper industry, the transition from a focus on the number of net-paid subscribers to the vast number of audiences served by multiple products has clearly come a long way.

During this time, I believe the newspaper industry has finally begun a shift that will secure its future in some form for years to come.

Visit the INMA website to continue reading this article:  The No. 1 reason for optimism about the future of newspapers? Our audiences.  

About this blog: The Satisfying Audiences Blog aims to reflect print and digital content not just across platforms but extending into consumer events, non-news-related subscriptions and other audience vehicles for newsmedia companies. This blog written by INMA members is dedicated to identifying the emerging linkages between content, audiences, and platforms.