Chattanooga Times Free Press, a newspaper based in the city of Chattanooga (Tennessee, USA) has decided to spend millions of dollars to buy iPads for readers, in an effort to convert from a paper newspaper to a newspaper. electronic.
Starting this week, instead of receiving the usual paper newspapers, Chattanooga Times Free Press readers will read news stories through the iPad app. The “digitized” version of this newspaper on iPad has a similar presentation to the paper version, but with a few additional features. By mid-2022, Chattanooga Times Free Press expects to completely discontinue the distribution of paper publications, with the exception of a special Sunday issue.
The amount that Chattanooga Times Free Press used to buy iPads for readers was $4.4 million. In addition, this newspaper also has to spend an additional $ 1.7 million on staff training and promotion, to ensure that its readers will have the easiest “digital transformation”.
Obviously, more than 6 million USD is not a small amount. But according to Walter E. Hussman, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, that’s the only way a newspaper like Chattanooga Times Free Press can continue to operate.
Hussman said the profits from newspaper publishing in the US have changed. In 2006, US newspaper advertising revenue peaked at $47 billion. But by 2017, that number had dropped to less than $12 billion due to the expansion of online advertising giants like Facebook and Google. In 2020, the US press only earned $ 8.8 billion from advertising.
Instead of looking to lay off staff or reduce page content, Hussman decided to cut costs in printing and distributing newspapers. In addition, electronic publications also bring many other advantages to readers such as the ability to adjust the font size, color images (instead of black and white like paper newspapers), video integration, and spoken newspapers. An iPad can also store up to 60 different issues.
In addition, giving iPads to readers does not make Chattanooga Times Free Press “lost” as many people think. Currently, this newspaper is charging readers 34 USD / month, equivalent to 408 USD / year. Meanwhile, an iPad costs only 329 USD. Plus, the Pad can last for years without needing to be replaced, making it a long-term investment for Chattanooga Times Free Press.