Not All Readers Are Created Equal

by Patrick Appel

Ryan Chittum posts on the chasm between print and web reader revenues:

Print newspapers took in $34.7 billion in ad revenue last year and had 49 million subscribers. That works out to $709 per subscriber...Newspapers online had $3.1 billion in ad revenue last year and averaged 67.3 million unique visitors per month. That’s $46 per reader $709 (or even $603) versus $46. And you wonder why newspapers still like their print products.

But it's much easier to attact (or lose) an online reader because information online is nearly a perfect market. The value of given knowledge rises and falls with the cirumstances. Unlike the subscription model where a reader is locked into a contract for a set period of time, an online reader can usually switch back and forth between news holes with no penalty. An online reader might be worth less individually, but it should also easier for a start-up to attract new readers since the readers are investing time, not money.