Feeds

Newspapers not killed by net - shock!

But web freeloaders fill their boots

Security for virtualized datacentres

A survey into the newspaper reading habits of the British has some rare good news for newspapers - and a warning for their net strategies.

The good news for media groups is that online readers show a strong loyalty to their favourite paper, with two thirds of Mail readers also buying a print copy, for example.

However, the Lemming-like rush to make all the print content available online has resulted in a class of freeloaders who never buy the printed version of the newspaper. The Guardian, which prides itself on the completeness of its online coverage - it doesn't hold anything back - has attracted the most freeloaders: 20 per cent of Guardian Online readers don't buy the paper (they don't buy anyone else's paper, either).

That's hardly surprising. When everything is online, they don't have to, and readers can save themselves over £5 a week.

"Perhaps the broadsheets are victims of their own online success, with their web readers getting all the news and comment they need online," notes David Day, CEO of Lightspeed Europe.

This leaves newspaper companies in a pickle. If they make their online version complete and attractive, they're discouraging readers from buying the much more lucrative print product. If they ignore the internet, they risk falling behind with the small but rapidly growing internet advertising business. Few have the loyalty that the Wall Street Journal commands, which has charged for almost everything from day one. So the prudent course would be to do as the New York Times has done - and hold some material back for subscribers.

The report also suggests that tabloid print papers don't translate well to online formats - or else the audience isn't interested.

Guardian readers and Times readers top the freeloader list, with the other "quality" papers not far behind. Fourteen per cent of Mirror and The Sun readers, and only 11 per cent of Daily Express readers, don't buy a print newspaper.

Lightspeed Research contacted 55,000 people in the UK in May. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Two out of three ain't bad
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.