Wednesday, 12 October 2011 16:24

eNewspapers gain traction through iPad

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The huge popularity and adoption of the iPad has pushed newspaper publishers to go beyond standalone smartphone apps towards integrated digital strategies as they continue to counteract a drop off in revenues from falling print sales.


In its latest report on the global market, Juniper Research found that annual revenues derived from eNewspapers delivered to portable devices will exceed $1.1 billion by 2016, with publishers increasingly delivering via subscription-based applications to counteract falling print sales.

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.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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