Is it worth it?
In October 2012 the per-issue cost of a daily subscription to the New Orleans Times-Picayune will increase by 87%. Why? Because both the number of subscribers, and, more importantly, the advertising revenue that is the lifeblood of any newspaper, have declined significantly over a number of years.
The privately owned T-P doesn’t release advertising revenue figures, but new publisher Ricky Mathews has said that the paper’s print ad revenue has declined significantly, which is in line with what’s happening on a national basis, where nationwide newspaper print ad revenue figures for 2012 will probably show about a 64% decline since 2000, based on figures available on the Newspaper Association of America website through 1Q2012.
Here are the details:
Note that I’m being generous on the number of issues beginning in 2012 by including the special Monday “Saints” issues that will be produced during the New Orleans Saints season, even though the content will likely be completely devoted to reporting and analysis of the previous weekend’s Saints game and will not include normal news content. If those issues are excluded, the number of issues drops to 156, and the cost per issue goes up to $1.30, resulting in an increase of 110%.
Here’s the same information in graphical form:
So, given the competitive nature of the news business and the plethora of news outlets of all kinds, many of which are free, the question is, “Is it worth it to continue to pay for a daily print subscription to the Picayune?” I’ll be exploring that question in future posts.