Friday, August 8, 2008

Online First, Newsprint Second

The Philadelphia Inquirer, one of the oldest daily newspapers in the country, doesn't get it. Old school was to print first, share online later; New school is to get the information online first and stay relevant and important to your users. But despite the realities of the today's new media world, "the Inkie plans to buck the trend of online first...the Inquirer risks making itself less relevant for those who already have made the transition online and losing their attention—and with that, becoming less relevant for advertisers." How odd.

While paid subscription is important to revenue, so is advertising dollars. It is apparent that subscriber growth is waning and the current generation prefers online to print. Papers should be working on more online applications like Kindle and distributing breaking news through e-mail alerts to improve its value and reach with its subscriber base. Through this transition, offer print subscribers free Kindle downloads. Or even better, offer discount to purchase multiple Kindles so the whole family can have their own device.

For the Philadelphia news junkie, if The Inquirer doesn't stay relevant, they will seek alternative sites to become their key news and information source. They will kill their brand preference and like their print edition, soon become obsolete.