Sunday, December 28, 2008

What Happens to Print Ad Dollars When a Newspaper Stops Publishing in Print?

Scott Karp writes:

With all the debate over the future of newspapers, here’s a question I haven’t heard anybody ask (much less answer): If a metropolitan newspaper suddenly ceased to publish, leaving the city with no newspaper, what would happen to all of that newspaper’s ad dollars?

Most newspaper companies’ strategy right now is based on the assumption that you can’t shut down the print newspaper because it brings in 90% of the revenue, and you couldn’t possibly support the same news gathering operation with the 10% revenue slice that goes to the website. (The 10% problem)

There’s just one problem with this assumption. All of the ad dollars that the print newspaper gets are, by definition, ad dollars that the newspaper’s website does NOT get.


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