Unraveling US Newspapers’ Digital and Print Subscriptions in the Context of Price, 2016–2022

dc.creatorChyi, Hsiang Iris
dc.creatorJeong, Sun Ho
dc.date.accessioned2024-02-09T17:04:19Z
dc.date.available2024-02-09T17:04:19Z
dc.date.issued2024-02
dc.description.abstractDespite industry-wide efforts in digitally transforming news organizations, research showed that most newspapers’ legacy products still outperformed the same newspaper’s digital offerings in terms of engagement, circulation, readership, pricing, advertising, and subscription revenue—all by a wide margin. But Covid-19 created an unprecedented scenario where the need for instant, local news updates, the fear of contacting anything tangible, and financial stress may have changed consumer behavior. To assess the state of the newspaper industry, this study analyzes short-term and long-term trends in US newspapers’ digital and print circulation before and during the pandemic. The analysis considered price, an important factor often neglected in discussions about newspaper demand. Utilizing rich industry data, this study analyzed 18 US metro daily newspapers’ circulation trends during 2016–2022. The results revealed that digital circulation increased rapidly after the onset of Covid-19 but subsequently decreased after reaching the peak in Q3 2021. Print circulation continued its rapid decline since 2016, accompanied by continuous, substantial price hikes for print subscriptions—a typical print subscription now costs over $1,000 a year. Despite circulation declines, the print edition remains the core product, with more subscribers paying far more than digital subscribers. Because of the immense price gap (6 to 1), the seemingly promising increase in digital subscriptions during Covid-19 could not generate nearly as much revenue to cover the loss on the print side, resulting in a substantial loss in total subscription revenue. The state of the US newspaper industry needs immediate attention.
dc.description.departmentJournalism and Media
dc.identifier.citationChyi, H., & Jeong, S. (2024). Unraveling US Newspapers’ Digital and Print Subscriptions in the Context of Price, 2016–2022. Media and Communication, 12. doi:https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.7482
dc.identifier.doi10.17645/mac.7482
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/2152/123638
dc.identifier.urihttps://doi.org/10.26153/tsw/50432
dc.publisherMedia and Communication
dc.relation.ispartofUT Faculty/Researcher Worksen
dc.rightsAttribution 4.0en
dc.rights.restrictionOpen
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
dc.subjectCovid-19
dc.subjectdigital subscription
dc.subjectdigital transformation
dc.subjectnewspaper circulation
dc.subjectnewspapers
dc.subjectsubscription revenue
dc.titleUnraveling US Newspapers’ Digital and Print Subscriptions in the Context of Price, 2016–2022
dc.typeArticle

Access full-text files

Original bundle

Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Name:
MaC 12 - Unraveling US Newspapers' Digital and Print Subscriptions in the Context of Price, 2016-2022.pdf
Size:
556.75 KB
Format:
Adobe Portable Document Format

License bundle

Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
No Thumbnail Available
Name:
license.txt
Size:
1.64 KB
Format:
Item-specific license agreed upon to submission
Description: