Philobiblon: How desperate is the British newspaper industry?

Monday, December 05, 2005

How desperate is the British newspaper industry?

After reading this piece on DVD giveaways in this morning's Guardian, I have to wonder whether the newspaper industry knows that it is speeding its own extinction?

How much are newspapers spending? Licences range from £50,000 per film to £200,000 for top line Oscar-winning films such as The Last Emperor. Then paying for replication costs between 18p and 20p per unit. Total costs when TV advertising is added (as it always is) mount up to between £750,000 and £1.2m for a single DVD. And if you sell 200,000 extra copies to people beyond those who buy the paper anyway, that is £4 per new reader - and remember these are "readers", who have no loyalty.

And where does this money come from, I'd ask in addition? Largely from cutting the quality of the core product - journalism.

And imagine you are a customer of any sort of business that starts to offer you a regular "bonus". Won't you come to expect it, and be angry if it is removed?


Blogger Norbert Trouser-Quandary said...

Ah. Didn't these people have comics as kids, then? I remember you always looked for the one which had the best 'free' gift that week: the water pistol, the glider, the pieces of triangular carboard with the brown paper thing that made a loud noise. All I learnt was that the comics were interchangable, that all the stories were basically the same.

The same applies to newspapers, these days - despite the alleged political differences -they all seem to have the same London-centric media attitude of the self-sytled urban sophisticate that seems so alien to those of of looking from the outside.

I gave up on newspapers some time ago.The endless Polly Fillers and Phil Space identikit articles. The 'Sunday Format'-style articles.

I could go on. But I won't.

12/05/2005 11:22:00 am  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

Agreed - I really doubt the value of the "make it bigger, with more junk", approach. I recall hearing of a survey in which large numbers of people had given up buying papers because they created too much rubbish and mess around the house.

12/05/2005 11:50:00 am  
Blogger Oscar Wildebeest said...

What's particularly interesting is the devaluation of the DVD and its potential impact upon retailers. In an age where direct download is rapidly growing from its small beginnings, and hard drive recorders are starting to penetrate the market, the days of this 'new' format are already starting to look numbered. Which is a little disturbing for those of us whose collections are already 200 strong...

12/06/2005 02:52:00 pm  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

I believe they make good bird-scarers; you could build a really good scarecrow?

12/06/2005 03:51:00 pm  

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