Predictions for 2007

Wired’s Wild predictions are funny and interesting. But this is one that I really do NOT buy:

Print to Web
A major newspaper gives up printing on paper to publish exclusively online.

No major newspaper is going to do that, certainly not this year. But there is a great deal of gloom in the newsprint world, and to a degree it is creeping over to magazines. Today’s Financial Times has an insightful analysis of the situation — especially with respect to advertising. These figures from Bain & Co are arresting:

An analysis by Bain & Company, a consultancy, illustrates the problem. For an average US newspaper, a subscriber generates about $1,000 a year from advertising. For those newspapers that base their internet strategy around being a content destination, each viewer generates an average of $5.50 of advertising revenue.

That tells you why NO newspaper will jump from print to web-only: $5.50 per subscriber/regular reader is not enough. Our prediction for 2007 is that this is the year in which print publishers WILL start to figure out how web-based advertising can work for them.