If you look at the current circulation figures for newspapers in Australia, you'll find that they are stable: some did go up and some down slightly. At present newspapers look safe.
Then I was shocked when I read part of an interview with Arthur Sulzberger Jr. He is the publisher of the New York Times which is one of the largest newspapers in the world. Responding to a question about whether the Times will be printed on paper in five years he stated "I really don't know whether we'll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don't care either." He then went on to say “……that the New York Times is on a journey and its end will be the day the company decides to stop printing the paper [to make it] 100 percent digital.”
Suddenly I was thinking are we in this new equation? So what happens to all our businesses?
Obviously I was not the only one to think this. At a shareholder meeting he was asked what exactly he meant. He replied:
"We are continuing to invest in our newspapers, for we believe that they will be around for a very long time. This point of view is not about nostalgia or a love of newsprint. Instead, it is rooted in fundamental business realities…..”
All this sounds good but wait for the end of his statement which is:
"So let me clear the air on this issue. It is my heartfelt view that newspapers will be around--in print--for a long time. But I also believe that we must be prepared for that judgment to be wrong. My five-year timeframe is about being ready to support our news, advertising and other critical operations on digital revenue alone...whenever that time comes." [Emphasis added]
In other words, his paper is considering the possibility. I wonder whether we should too?
Here is a very interesting short clip that discusses a future without newspapers. It is over the top a bit but well worth looking at, I can assure you.
Epic 2015 (new updated version)
Click here to launch the movie
Note: This particular post, I was really debating whether or not to publish it. I showed it to Zac Varga from Pos Solutions. He was struck by it too. He then went to Jenny from Geyers Newsagency who was stunned too. She convinced us to publish it as she said that "it was really important to place that type of information so people realize how important it is to keep coming up with new initiatives to make our businesses relevant, just in case this became a reality here in Australia in the future!".