Is The iPad Meant To Save Newspapers Or Kill Them Quicker?

A study from The Reynolds Journalism Institute in the US has found that iPad users like using the device to stay up to date on the latest news. Big surprise! But they also found that of those who use newspaper apps to facilitate this news-getting, more than half are planning on cancelling their newspaper subscription. So is this good or bad for the papers?

You can read the whole report here, but here's the summary of the interesting part:

Among the 931 respondents who indicated that they currently subscribe to print newspapers, there is a statistically significant, moderately strong, positive correlation between iPad news consumption and the likelihood of canceling their print subscriptions. For example, more than half (58.1%) of the respondents who subscribe to printed newspapers and use their iPad at least an hour a day for news said they are very likely to cancel their print subscriptions within the next six months.

Ultimately the newspapers have to consider this a win, considering that people are actually paying for the apps, rather than just getting their info for free from the web. Although it's surprising that the people who actually pay for newspapers would be silly enough to pay for paper content twice in the first place...

[RJI via Mumbrella]



    They're paying for an app but are they paying for a subscription? If the news papers are supplying a free subscription, then this is definitely the way to go because they can make their money from adds and save the cost of printing. If however they're trying to charge for a subscription, then I believe they're doomed to die a slow agonising death. Die Murdoch, die. :}

      We've been through this before. We all know through our own surfing how inconsequential and meaningless a 'hit' is. The revenue generated by online advertising is miniscule, much smaller than what they used to get through traditional print, and nowhere near enough to run a first-tier publication.

      It costs a lot of money to keep a newspaper of several hundred, to send reporters and film crew to the Middle East, London, Seoul. Much more than what online ads provide, and since their traditional classifieds have now been gutted via Craigslist etc, it's pretty much 'subscription or die' from now.

      There are certain benefits of this route. The online subscription can be significantly cheaper than the printed one and can be read at your own leisure. But regional newspapers who think online ads will save them are dying, their staff are being laid off by the hundreds and are flocking to the last few big publications.

      People like to underestimate the costs of running a newspaper, or how online ads are some deus ex machina to save the industry, but it's much more dire. The problem is.. that internet 'news' has been free so long via bloggers/aggregators that it's very difficult to start charging. There's no free lunch with this sort of thing, if we want our newspapers on our devices, we better be prepared to start paying for them again, even if the subscription cost is half or a tenth of what it usually is.

        I'm sure I could live with a subscription that's a tenth the cost of a paper, but don't forget that if the news is more readily available online as an app you'll no doubt get an incremental increase in readers! or any number of other news sites work through Safari... no subscription.

    An i pad for High School. They will pay $10 for a month to rent an i pad. This Earth where talking about not money. We need to do what we got to do. SAVE MOTHER EARTH. YEAH

    iPad can help students in a number of ways. It can easily reduce the text book prices drastically. Imagine buying a textbook for $25 on iBooks, instead of paying over $100. Students and parents can greatly benefit from that. More usage of eBooks can definitely help reduce paper usage. At least, text books books are reused. However, the printed papers from a class are hardly reused. Therefore, the major chunk of paper savings and in turn saving trees will probably come from reducing the paper usage in college courses through eReaders like Kindle and iPad.

    Here is a stunning paper usage statistics from a top university. Students from the university of size ~8000 students and no restriction on printing, consumed ~10 million sheets of printed materials (1 million dollar worth of paper) in an academic year. This is equivalent to cutting ~1000 trees. One can easily imagine how much colleges can benefit from using a device like iPad.

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