I'd be curious to see the graphs of new subscribers to newspapers over the past few years.
Don't get me wrong: I really like the press industry. But I don't understand why they are having such a hard time to reinvent themselves.
It seems like, for most of them, the biggest innovation was to allow their readers to download a pdf copy of the paper. That, and having a website with "fresh"-ish articles.
"They want real time!"
So what do youths, aka the potential future subscribers, want?
Real time! Is the obvious answer.
Of course they want to know what's happening right this second in the world. They grew up being able to.
But do they need companies from the previous century for that? Or are they already used to getting instant news on twitter or some other social network?
Instead of trying to provide what they want and already know where to find, the press industry might want to focus on creating additional value and educating these potential future customers. I don't believe that the press industry should try to catch up and play the speed game. Delivering facts, if anything, should be used as a gateway to more valuable content.
What can they provide, in order to have the kids progressively get used to the value they are creating?
How do you get them to a place where they actually want to pay for in-depth articles?
Investing in creating future customers seems like a reasonable bet to make. A bet a lot of companies from other industries have made.
What is the press industry waiting for?