The Future of Print Subscribers : A Stable Resource or just Wishful Thinking?
Abstract: The same digital forces that are changing the Communications, Information, Media and Entertainment industries in general are radically changing newspaper companies in particular by changing their value chain. Newspapers are seeing their dominance erode when Internet and digitization are fundamentally changing and disrupting their traditional business models. There is a clear collectively decline in news consumption, and with that the news organizations’ roles in society are changing. Moreover, the reduced consumption of news puts pressure on the newspaper’s economy with shrinking revenues and increasing costs. The transformation of the newspaper into a purely digital business has been in progress under the past decade and it is rapidly accelerating. The subscribers of the printed morning newspaper have historically been characterized by a high degree of loyalty and engagement as well as a low price sensitivity. They constitute an attractive group for the newspaper to keep as digital subscribers in a possible future situation where the printed newspaper no longer can be provided. Thus, the purpose of this study is to find out to what extent the studied newspaper company can rely on the existing print subscribers to stay as digital subscribers and count them as a stable resource, that is as a part of the future digital subscription revenues.
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