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!

3 Responses to "Newspaper price hike: dangerous in current environment?"

  1. […] Newspaper price hike: dangerous in current environment? Steve Outing wonders if the Boulder Camera’s $4.50-a-month price hike will be a straw that breaks the back of some readers’ newspaper-buying habits. […]

  2. Christopher Ryan
    Christopher Ryan 9 years ago .Reply

    I\'m disappointed by this, but I doubt the economics of publishing a separate TV book work anymore.

    That\'s too bad — newspapers should build the print paper around what print does best. And I find the TV book hands-down the best way to quickly skim the week\'s listings to see if there\'s anything I want to watch (and then record with my TiVo…)

    Mailing the TV book to the people who sign up for it is better than nothing — but it means the paper isn\'t showing off the best that print can be. And that doesn\'t bode well..

  3. Scott Bateman
    Scott Bateman 9 years ago .Reply

    I've never seen a successful attempt to take a section out of a newspaper and sell it separately. One of the overlooked benefits of a newspaper is that it is a convenient packaging of many separate products. Breaking them apart destroys the convenience. And making it more expensive doesn't help, either!

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