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Post By
Ed Love

Location: North Carolina
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
In Reply To
The Black Guardian

Location: Paragon City, RI
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Subj: Re: I don't see why
Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 09:42:53 am EDT (Viewed 51 times)
Reply Subj: Re: I don't see why
Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 at 03:51:35 pm EDT (Viewed 43 times)



        Newspapers are on a steep decline, and chances are they won't be around in a few years.

      I think USA Today may be an exception. See my next response.

        Newspapers also have an even older customer demographic than comics do, where the average age for a newspaper reader is 55. In comics, I would guess it's somewhere around 35. So it's not like you are getting the young readers this way.

      I realize this link is in reference to the weekend magazine, but it's the best I could quickly find showing demographics and circulation for USA Today:

    Even USAToday, which has been the trend breaker, recently reported a steep drop in sales. Hotels are beginning to stop giving them to guests.

        If the link I found is at all relevant to the weekday circulation and demographics, USA Today reaches millions of people in the target age range.

      Yeah, they're selling 2+ million copies a day.

    Anyway, like newspapers, the best alternative is for digital comics.

Not really. Digital doesn't make enough money to pay for itself. If digital does put an end to newspapers, you'll see a steep decline in news sources online because where do you think much of the news and content on the web comes from? People think online content should be free, very few are willing to actually pay for it. Advertising cuts the cost somewhat, but even that isn't enough to actually pay for the columnists, reporters, photographers, editors and the technicians and technology. Digital is a must as part of the newspaper entity in today's world, but it's like free refills or a/c at a restaurant. No one explicitly pays for it, it's expected as a bonus. When I worked for a paper, online was considered a positive growing cost, but only because most of their workers and content were already paid for by other departments. It was a bit frustrating to hear execs praising online for making money and then coming down on Classified sales for not when it was the Classified Salespeople that were making those sales that made Online the money.

This also seems to blame the format for the troubles newspapers are in. It's only a small part of the problem. Newspapers are driven by advertising revenue, the three main sources are Automotive, Real Estate, and Help Wanted. It's not unusual to see dips in one or two of the three, but the economy has hit all three hard. As this moved even more into general economy, retail advertising in the other sections declined as did subscriptions. Until the economy went majorly south, the Raleigh newspaper saw a rise in subscriptions and advertising revenue substantially exceeding goals several years in a row, all during the rise of online news and advertising competitors (indeed the newspaper was one of the first to go online).

I think Digital could be an important secondary revenue stream for comics if they can work out some of the kinks and maybe even an alternative for smaller publishers and iffy reprint books. But, I don't think it will ever make the money to actually cover the costs of paying the talent. I think it would probably be just a different loss-leader for the trade market but ultimately probably kill that as well and much of the industry as a whole as we'd see comic shops belly up across the country, so there'd be fewer risks in trades and collections being done and sold as there are even fewer outlets for them to be sold.

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