Most of the people who read this blog either occasionally or on a daily basis get their daily news from one of three sources… and we get the news basically from where we got the news when we were growing up. For the older members, we got it from newspaper…I remember reading the Detroit Free Press every morning while eating breakfast. I used to love to read the late, great columnist, Joe Falls.
Of course, my younger brothers would say they got the news from television, and I guess I did too. Watching Walter Cronkite or the Huntley/Brinkley Report depending on if I was at home or at my grandparents house was something I remember all too well.
And then there are the youngest of our members that basically could point to either of those media. They point to the internet as their primary source of news. And they are winning out. Print died a long time ago. Newspapers have been hemorrhaging money for decades. They’re dinosaurs that just don’t know they’re extinct yet. And TV is getting the message very quickly.
In a new poll just out, magazines, even news magazines like Time are finding they can’t keep the presses rolling. They have lost 71% of their subscribers in the last few years. And while they all have online editions, very few are willing to buy an online subscription to their magazine. Newspapers are in worse shape. Oh, some like the Wall Street Journal, the nation’s premier financial newspaper are doing alright, but even the vaunted New York Times only has a total of 800,000 subscribers online. And that’s actually more than the 700,000 that pick up a hard copy of the paper.
Want the scary truth? Online news outlets like Yahoo News, Huffington Post, and MSN are actually equaling, and in some cases beating the network TV newscasts. In fact 43% of Americans now say their primary source of news is the internet compared to 40% for television. That’s the first time in history TV has fallen to the internet. Newspapers now rank at the bottom of where folks get their news.
What’s troubling for the magazine and newspaper industries is the fact that the vast majority of respondents say they would NEVER pay for an internet based news service subscription. Well, never is a long time, but in this day and age, there’s no need to. You can find a myriad of sources for your news, from whichever slant you like, all for free. And get it faster than television or newspaper or magazines or radio can deliver it to you. That’s why places like Drudge are doing so well. In fact, there hasn’t been an increase in news-based subscribers on the internet over the last two years signaling that they’ve got all the folks that are interested in paying for news.
And the other scary thought is that with all of the traditional TV networks now or soon going to be offering subscriptions to us to stream all of their shows any time we want, there will soon be no need to sit in front of your TV Thursday night at 8pm to watch your favorite show. You can do it anytime you want…and you can do that already to a great extent with Hulu Plus.
Traditional media is dying out. The internet is going to be the entertainment mecca of the future…for a while. But as everyone knows…it’s only for a while. Remember…we thought cable TV was the wave of the future in 1975 too!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!