According to the research firm, companies such as News International have begun offering a single subscription price enabling access to The Times across all digital platforms, as the market looks to integrated digital strategies in the battle to retain readers and revenue.
Juniper also observes that transitioning to a paywall-based model would almost certainly result in a substantial decline in the digital user base, and it says, despite this, for many publishers the revenues that accrued from a moderate user base paying a modest subscription charge would outweigh initial loss of CPM (cost per mille)-based advertising revenue.
However, according to report author Dr Windsor Holden, However, many newspaper publishers will struggle to bridge the gap caused by the dramatic decline in sales from print editions. Furthermore, Dr Holden says that the ubiquity of free online news and infotainment sources obliges publishers to set digital subscription prices markedly lower than print to ensure a critical mass of users, and this in turn would put further pressure on margins.
According to Dr Holden, these pressures are likely to be exacerbated by the emergence of what she calls 'NeoNewspapers' - publications such as The Early Edition and Flipboard which essentially create newspaper/magazine-style content on tablets derived from social media, RSS feeds and brand partners.
'The problem facing publishers is twofold. Firstly, is their content sufficiently attractive to create a viable paying audience? Secondly, can they continue to sustain the costs of a print proposition during the migration to digital?'
Other findings from the report include:
'¢ 5 million consumers will access eNewspapers over tablets/eReaders by the end of 2011
'¢ Tiered content pricing will become increasingly popular in the eMagazine space
The mPublishing whitepaper is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full report.