As you may have noticed, most people get their news from devices these days. While newspapers are still being printed in most parts of the world, news that can be derived from these sources is often old news. With services like Flipboard, News 360, Flud, and various other news apps abounding (really, a few seem to pop up every day!), newspapers can’t keep up with consumer demands for instant news around the clock.
But there’s an interesting paradox here: even though news apps and sites are where most people read the latest news, this news has to be garnered from some source. Where do apps gather news? Why, newspapers and magazines, of course. Granted, most of these former print-only offerings are now available online, but this is where most news comes from all the same. So, why is it that newspapers aren’t doing so well in the news-app economy?
Battle of the Big Brands
With news apps and sites comes advertising. At the crux of most app advertising are five very large and very recognizable companies. Those companies include Google, AOL, Facebook, Yahoo, and Microsoft (Apple trails behind these big names with a mobile ad sector that never really grew). These massive companies tend to control nearly all the advertising that you see while viewing a news app. In the very near future, newspapers won’t be able to compete with these companies and its very likely that you will see Google, Yahoo, or another company listed above buying out all of those age-old news institutions.
The major problem with a newspaper office owned by, for example, Yahoo is that all the news that comes from that source will be generated and closely watched by the large company that purchased the newspaper. This, in return, all has to do with advertising to you, the consumer. For example, in a fictional world, Yahoo may purchase the New York Times (fictional, I said). If this were to happen, Yahoo might then make sure that all NY Times articles were directly targeted to their core marketing audience. So, you might see plenty of articles about, say, celebrities and a lot less articles about world events – all coming at you through those popular news apps. See the problem here?
Holding Steady for Now
Right now, all of those newspapers that you have read since you were a child are still in existence, but it’s no secret that print is fading. Even online newspapers can’t keep up with the abundance of apps out there, and most newspaper-fueled apps simply aren’t as great as other news apps. Why would you use a news app that’s dedicated to one newspaper when you can use an app like Flipboard and gain news from many different sources? Needless to say, print papers are in trouble unless they can find a way to compete with news apps.
Sooner rather than later, you might see some of the oldest newspapers in the land gain a “by Google” or other new name (much like stadiums of old). Want to help out? Start supporting newspapers – not massive technology companies. After all, newspapers do have a place in this world and it would be sad to see all the real news go out the window in lieu of “advertising driven” news.