On occasion, I’ve written how Roland and I are the only people under 40 that I know who suscribe to a newspaper. All the stats and stories indicate that newspaper audiences are dying off, and not being replaced by enough of today’s Web-savvy youth.
Vancouverites may have noticed new green newspaper boxes kicking around the city. They’re for Metro, one of several desperate stabs that publishers are taking at Canadian youth markets. There’s another called Dose which currently only runs in Toronto. This Globe and Mail article offers a decent overview of the new offerings (it’s best to read this quote in the voice of Grandpa Simpson):
“Young people just aren’t picking up newspapers the way they did 20 or 30 years ago,” said newspaper analyst John Morton of Morton Research Inc. in Silver Spring, Md. “The consequence is that newspaper readership is dying off faster than it’s being added to. Eventually, that’s going to cause an awful lot of problems.”
Can you say “foolish waste of money?” If I were CanWest et al, I wouldn’t spend a dollar on publishing dead-tree editions targeted at youth. I’d spend my time figuring out a reasonable online revenue model, throw a lot of money at it and see what sticks.