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The Mirror: newspapers aren’t the future

Posted by Danny Whatmough on 10th June 2010

I’ve written a few critical blog posts about (traditional) media over the last week. But the full impact of the change that is happening in traditional circles has really become evident today with the sad announcement that the Mirror Group is to make around 25% of its editorial staff redundant.

The Guardian has published the letter that has been sent to all staff and there are some particularly telling elements to it. Here are some of the most interesting sections:

The problem for the newspaper industry

“Technological advances and the proliferation of new and faster platforms like smartphones has seen the erosion of all newspaper circulations, however much our rivals try to disguise it. The Sun alone has spent in excess of £37m in the past 12 months subsidising its cover price. The Mail has burned through £28m on DVDs and other promotions in that same period. We simply don’t believe in throwing money away like this.”

What the future looks like

“It is clear that the future of media is weighted towards digital, but at this stage in the global media revolution revenue streams for content providers like us are unpredictable and comparatively small. Fractions of pennies to our previous pounds. Of course, revenue streams will emerge – all publishers are beginning to experiment with different models – and they will grow, but not quickly enough to offset the dramatic decline in ‘old media’ revenues that now threatens us.”

How to be successful

“While we are totally committed to continuing to publish vibrant, quality newspapers they are not exclusively where our long-term future lies. It is clear that our traditional skills and processes have to change to embrace these emerging platforms and keep our world famous titles in good health. And it is clear that we cannot continue to do what we do in the way that we have always done it. We simply have to evolve…The successful launches of and clearly demonstrate our ability to create compelling new digital products.”

picture credit

Danny Whatmough