Thursday, September 20, 2007

More Canadians reading newspapers online

images-1.jpgThere's an interesting story in today's Globe and Mail that says that more Canadians are reading newspapers online, yet the subscription levels of the newsprint editions are not suffering. You can read the story in the Technology section of today's paper, or you can get it here if you want to read it online.

Here's an interesting snippet from the story:
...[O]verall newspaper readership is relatively stable in Canada, in contrast to the state of the industry in the United States where readership, circulation and advertising revenue have been slumping.
And later...
"The industry is actually enjoying a period of relative stability at a time when, in the United States, you're seeing some fairly sizable drops in circulation and ad revenues," said Globe and Mail publisher Phillip Crawley. "Our industry is not in the same kind of trouble." He said many readers are looking at newspaper websites in addition to reading the printed version, but are not replacing one with the other.
I fit that profile. I'm definitely a newspaper reader. We get two daily papers delivered to the house and I've also got online subs to both. In addition, I regularly browse newspaper sites online, like the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Washington Post, etc.

To me, reading a newspaper is not just the gathering of information. I like to feel the paper and scan the stories as I flip through the different sections. I like the pictures. Heck, sometimes I even like to see the ads and the flyers that come with them.

Online, it's a different experience. The news is more targetted. I find I don't read as many stories that catch my eye. I tend to look at the headlines and dismiss a lot of stuff. If it was already on the page, printed right there, I would probably scan the story. But when it's just a headline on a screen, I'll only look if I'm really interested.

I've written before about the future of newsprint (Will global warming speed the rise of digital papers? and What's the future for newsprint?)

Looking back over those articles, I'd say that the issue is far from resolved, nor do I expect that to change any time soon. I still like to grab a coffee and sit down with the paper - the newsprint kind - in the morning. But who knows what's coming? Electronic paper that recreates that experience? An improved online interface, like the kind that the Iphone promises?

What about you? Do you still like paper? Or have you switched over to online only? Let me know what you think. You can leave a comment here (just click on the comments button below) or send me a note. I'd like to hear from you.

Technorati Tags:

No comments: