Are Newspapers Dying?
Warren Buffet doesn’t seem to think so, buying up some 60 odd papers in the past two years. He’s not alone either, other billionaires as of late have been splurging on traditional print media companies like Takeru Kobayashi at a hotdog eating contest.
So the obvious question is, why?
Buffett thinks it has to do with a monopoly on local news. People will always need their news, off or online. As long as local Newspapers can focus on the local news he think they’ll be just fine.
Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos’ just purchased the Washington Post for $250 million. From Fastcompany: “Observers were surprised when the Amazon Chief purchased the prestigious-and ailing-Washington institution, but history shows that sometimes buying a media property is like buying a boat.”
So now rich people to show off, instead of buying a yacht, mansion or real estate, they’re buying newspapers.
The Boston Globe was sold to John Henry, owner of the Boston Redsox for $70 million. If you think that’s a lot, to put it into perspective, the New York Times Co. purchased the Boston Globe in 1993 for $1.1 billion. The return on that investment is breathtakingly horrible.
And a little closer to home, the Leaderpost, as of May 14th along with many other of Post Media’s entities have gone subscription fee after you’ve read your 10th article for free. I’d be curious to see the numbers of people subscribing to the online Leaderpost, again, I don’t necessarily think the Leaderpost is in trouble. People need their news. And people want to trust the source for their local news. I can see the Leaderpost online entity being a very value online publication for little ol booming Regina. As Warren Buffett says, “as long as they stick to delivering local news that readers can’t find anywhere else.”
It’s going to be a rocky road ahead for the Leaderpost, Washington Post, and Boston Globe, Google is set to make more revenue than the entire U.S. print industry combined.
Looking at this graph it’s hard not to think Newspapers could be dying faster than we think, that’s trusting that this graph is 100% true as well.
What do you think? Will Newspapers disappear? How would you go about saving them?