Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Interesting comments about online revenue from Boston Globe

Here's an excerpt from an interesting interview with Boston Globe publisher Steve Ainsley that ran in the Boston Business Journal.

Ainsley feels that it’s longer than five years or 10 years away before print newspapers disappear.

Asked what the Globe look like in five years, Ainsley said:

Generally speaking, newspapers, whether they’re the Globe or smaller market newspapers, are going to continue this push toward really intense local coverage — because that’s what we do best, and that’s where we have our feet on the ground.

Intensely local is not surprising...this blog has already discussed that focus of local media.

But a second question is one that has not been addressed: "What percentage of revenue will come from online in five years?"

I think it’s going to have to be well north — and the five-year period I’m not comfortable with — I think we’ve got to get up to a quarter or a third pretty quickly, if we’re going to make the business models work. And it’s growing. Our online revenues, both as an industry and here on a percentage basis, are growing quickly. But, it is a business model of such that it is difficult to get the same rate that you get from print — that’s any newspaper’s challenge.

That still is the challenge that newspapers have not solved: it's not just how to cut expenses, but how to boost online revenue.

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