Addicted to novelty since 2001

New Canadian Dailies Desperate for Youth

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.

10 Responses to “New Canadian Dailies Desperate for Youth”

  1. Doyle

    I saw one of those boxes in front of my office building and wondered what that was so thank you for the update. I looked into getting a web-based subscription that I could put onto my ipaq and read on my commute in the morning and was surprised to see it was almost double the cost of a print edition! Shouldn’t it be less since they don’t have to kill all those innocent trees?

  2. Randy Charles Morin

    Could you imagine the uptake, if CanWest started podcasting, video blogging. I don’t see how they could not win. Place some trailing ads at first and leading ads if it catches hold. But they’re looking for the boat by searching the desert.

  3. Karen

    I’m 20 and subscribe to the Globe and Mail (they’ve got a good student discount and I think that both the Vancouver Sun and the Province are trash).

    But I agree that these attempts to capture young readers are silly. Would an 18-35 year old with Internet access rather read a print version of a free tabloid, or would they rather read it on the Internet? Hmm, I wonder!

  4. Jason Townsend

    It certainly doesn’t help that the nationally available papers are… eh, well, sorry if columnists might be reading this, but not always a very good investment of Timhortensgeld.

    I am the elusive under-25 regular newstand buyer of the Globe, but if the editorial keeps reading like my sarcastic impersonation of the Post, that’s may change. No Star in my area.

  5. Andrea

    Over the years, I’ve subscribed to various newspapers. However, I got sick of having to take the papers out to the recycling bin. I prefer to read papers online because a website doesn’t take up any space or require me to haul papers down to the recycling room.

  6. Roland Tanglao

    i have seriously considered dropping my Globe and Mail subscription but i’ve always stopped since then i would truly not know what’s going on since I don’t have cable or the time to listen to the radio or go to movies! At least with the G&M, I know what’s happening in Toronto :-) !

    ah the perils of being a blog junkie and a first time parent!

  7. harp

    I have a Province subscription so I can read at work, but I’m close to dropping it as I’m offended at the idiocy of the opinion columns and poor writing. I bring a grain of salt and a shovel with me each time I read the thing.

    Metro, eh?…

  8. Arieanna

    Every time I get the call to have a “free” subscription to the Sun or Province for a month, I always politely decline.

    It’s not that I don’t wish to know the news. I do. But for several reasons the paper is outdated:
    1. by the time it’s in the paper, I’ve already read about it or heard it on the news (radio or tv)
    2. i get many fresh opinions and insights reading blogs
    3. whatever else I miss can come from reading the paper online
    4. I hate to waste the paper and the resources it takes to print the darn thing in the first place
    5. I HATE getting ink on my hands

    If they are going to drill us to death in school about not wasting paper as kids, how will we grow up to take on reading the paper?

    The only inducement I would have would be a shorter, more targetted version of the paper that I could download to my Palm at cheaper than it costs to buy the paper.

  9. Heather

    I subscribe to the Globe and Mail for the arts section. I used to get the Sunday New York Times, too, but the delivery guy kept leaving it in the driveway of my apartment building for the first early morning dog walker to come along and steal it.

    I like a paper newspaper. Plus, you can use it for handy things like funny hats and collecting vegetable peelings.

  10. Christopher Zylstra

    It is the great challange, as I see it, to present MSM survival…that is, finding a decent revenue model for delivering their content online. New ways in delivering that contentonline are already being done so they needn’t be pioneers in this sense. Those who grasp quickly enough (that is before shareholders leap from the ledge) ways of best utilising interactivity and the true potential of their reporters will survive. You can be assured that most are paying attention, though it does seem as though Global is a bit farther ahead on this one than Bell/Globe. Maybe the sale to Thompson will change Globe fortune. PS I’m a Saturday morning Globe reader while on the ferry to go to Victoria every weekend. It’s a beautiful thing and the ink smells thick and sweet and better than my overheating presario. So there’s a place for dead trees in my world, just not as big a place as there is for HS internet and journo-bloggers.

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