Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What would the Guardian - or anyone - gain from ditching ink and paper?

The Telegraph was presumably flying a kite when it ran today's story about the Guardian's alleged "plans" to dump the paper and go digital-only. Of all the bits that didn't make sense about the piece, this paragraph was the most  difficult to understand:
However, trustees of the Scott Trust, GNM’s ultimate owner, fear it does not have enough cash on its books to sustain the newspapers for that long, according to More About Advertising
 All businesses worry about cash, particularly at the moment. Therefore the last thing they would do is cut off one of the main sources of that cash, which is the income that they get from cover price. This may not be as much as it used to be but it's still there, in, as they say in the boardroom, off-line pounds rather than on-line pence. The cash isn't going on sustaining the newspapers. It's going on investing in the on-line offering until it can supply a revenue stream as serious as the one it may ultimately have to replace.

This is the self-same problem the record business faces. They know that the future is downloads but meanwhile the revenue that they get from that allegedly dying format CD is what keeps the lights on.

Funny thing is five years ago somebody rang me from Media Guardian wondering if I knew anything about NME's alleged plans to ditch the paper edition to go digital-only. I said then what they have no doubt been saying to the Telegraph today. Why would anyone in their right mind do that?


  1. I've said it before, you can't roll up a tablet and swat a blue bottle.