Common question: Why don't newspapers dump their print version and go all-Web?
Ryan Chittum had a big part of the answer recently in Columbia Journalism Review. In an article headlined "The Chasm Between the Value of Print and Web Readers A person buying the paper brings twenty times the revenue of an online reader," Chittum laid out some intriguing numbers. Here's the nut of what he wrote:
"After posting the unhappy news that newspaper ads are at 1965 levels, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at how much revenue newspapers get from their print readers versus their online ones. It offers a reality check as newspapers try to figure out where to go from here.
"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."
Surviving in print obviously is a highly complicated situation, but it's nice to have Ryan's piece of the puzzle.