Many years ago, newspaper was something I could not miss. I ordered them daily. I ordered The Star. On Sundays, I sometimes buy NST. However, 9 years ago, I stopped ordering them, preferring to buy them on days that I feel I want to feel the hardcopies, it’s easier to read than Ipad without any doubt, for me. These days, it’s not even on my mind at all to buy a newspaper. I would go online to read, it’s more convenient. Some time back, in my previous role, I shared this story which is so true! ‘Imagine you suddenly thought of buying a property. Would you stand up, rushed to the nearest convenience store to buy your newspaper, flip through all the pages and view the properties you want to buy? Or would you just go online, check out a few online property sites which has many times more listings, many times more information and many times more up to date?’ The world has changed or you have not yet noticed that Google is now far larger than General Motors?
The latest (Audit Bureau of Circulation) ABC circulation numbers continued to reaffirm this. Newspaper actual circulation has continued dropping for many year and it dropped again last year. However, of course if you INCLUDE the ONLINE portion as well, then the circulation seemed to have gone up a bit. Actual hardcopy number wise for daily weekly, it has gone down from over 300,000 to 290,566 in H1 of 2012 to the latest H2 2013 at 289,611. If I remember correctly, many years ago, it was much higher! If you think this is happening in Malaysia because of politics, please grow up. Newspaper circulation has been dropping throughout the world. Malaysia is happening slightly slower, that’s all.
Nevertheless, all these newspapers are on the right direction. They are pushing towards online as can be seen from their aggressiveness in going online. In fact when you take up the offline today, they would ask you if you would like to go online as well and the rates are amazingly low. Let’s just say however that this strategy will worsen over time because the truth is, they are trying to value offline higher than online. This is not true. As soon as online wins the war which it will, this strategy would suddenly backfire. Yes I know, they do not agree. We shall see.
Written on 5 June 2014
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