Ken Goldstein, a leading media business analyst in Canada, has just published a grim prediction for legacy news outlets north of the border: “In 2025, it is likely that there will be few, if any, printed daily newspapers.”
For good measure, Goldstein adds, “there might be no local broadcast stations in Canada” 10 years from now.
While noting declines in advertising, classified particularly, Goldstein bases his bleak view on newspaper circulation trends (see graph). Daily paid circulation as a percentage of Canadian households, he writes, has fallen from just under 50 percent in 1995 to 20 percent in 2014.
If those declines continue, circulation will amount to only 5 to 10 percent of households in 2025, too little, Goldstein says, “to support a viable print business model for most general interest daily newspapers.”
He adds in his August 20 paper, “Canada’s Digital Divides,”
Thus, Canada’s daily newspapers now are engaged in a 10-year race against time and technology to develop an online business model that will enable them to preserve their brands without print editions, and – even more difficult – to try to develop new kinds of economic bundles (or other kinds of economic arrangements) that will enable their online presence to maintain their current journalistic scope.