Researchers at the University of Missouri have determined that Apple’s iPad may actually be having a negative effect on print newspaper sales.
To be sure, it was determined that as free consumption on the iPad goes up, users are more likely to cancel their newspaper subscriptions in favor of reading online news.
Sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, researchers interviewed 1,600 iPad users, 84.4% of whom said that they turn to their iPad to check current events.
As expected, the more consumers use their iPads, the less likely they are to read print newspapers.
Bad for newspapers, good for online news.
Of course, there are still the die-hard newspaper lovers that can’t bear to part with the smell of the paper and the rustling way it folds in their hands.
But many others are willing to trade in their old yellow newspapers the moment they get their hands on a sultry tablet.
The study also found that the older the user, the more lacking they found the iPad reading experience to be. Perhaps it’s habit, perhaps it’s truth, whatever it is, tablet-adopters are looking at devices like the iPad to eventually replace paper news.
This shift also marks a new era in the way newspaper companies need to think about monetization.
Instead of focusing on a subscription-based model that worked for print newspapers, perhaps it’s time major newspaper purveyors turned to advertisements to pay the bills.
One interesting result from the survey was the statistic that consumers would in fact pay for subscription-based digital news, but only at “a price lower than the price of a print subscription.”
Still, don’t worry people, it’s not like newspapers will be dead tomorrow.
With a three-quarter old tablet market, it’s impossible to truly predict where and when this will happen. But it is safe to say that as digitally consumed news becomes more common place, it may only be a matter of time until paper news dies out altogether.
Will the iPad be the only tablet responsible for the death of newspaper?
But will it help contribute? Absolutely.