The death of the newspaper, coming soon?

That was a purposely controversial title. It’s almost a clichéd topic to be talking about within the media industries, but this report dug up by TechCrunch has estimated that around 88% of the publishing and advertising industry’s revenue growth over the next two years will come from the web. Here are the four sectors that are forecast to see the greatest growth:

  1. Database & Information
  2. B2B Online Media
  3. Consumer Online Media
  4. Interactive Marketing Services

Here’s a (reproduced) chart illustrating revenue sources, from the Jordan Edmiston Group:

Now I for one don’t believe that this will spell the end of newspapers. As John Battelle rightly pointed out with his article questioning the future of the New York Times, papers will just have to justify their existence more. It will be likely that any new entrants to the market will be online; it’s hard enough for people in many countries to justify the costs of print these days. Although his most recent article suggests that the UK could be one market in which the above trend takes place at a slower pace.

One question that I have is this: What will this trend (if it comes to pass and carries on in this vein) do to the way people publish the news to an increasingly interconnected, global community? We already have the Guardian ‘widening its global audience focus with its American version, and (the more distant example of) Al-Jazeera explicitly positioning itself as a news source with a less ‘Westernised bias’, I wonder whether it might prompt other papers to follow suit in a bid to diversify and appeal to new markets? I’ll be watching for the answer to this over the next few years…

PS – do take a look at John Battelle’s blog over the next few days as he’s doing a series of ‘think out loud’ pieces on the future of journalism. Very intriguing stuff, I’m sure…


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