Newspaper price hike: dangerous in current environment?

By Steve Outing

Earlier this week, a large ad ran on page 3A in the Boulder Daily Camera, my hometown paper, announcing an increase in the subscription price — the first one in 13 years. Publisher Al Manzi’s letter and photo took up the entire page.

He rattled off the many price pressures faced by the Camera plus the well-known woes of the newspaper industry, and begged subscribers (like me) to hang in there and accept paying “less than 15 cents per day” extra.

The letter gave a sense of Manzi’s — and the industry’s — desperation. “…We cannot rely on advertising revenue alone. To be honest, it isn’t enough to support our operations and invest in the future.”

While probably not having much choice, price increases like this could put some subscribers over the edge. The increase is about $53 more per year, or around $4.50 a month. That’s not much money, but I fear that a growing number of newspaper readers are poised to kick the print habit. Price increases could be what makes them finally cancel their subscriptions.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!