As an avid newspaper reader (and yes, I am one of the few people that still prefer to read the paper version than the digital version…) I cannot be happier by the improving financial performance of some of the best newspaper in the world.
I strongly believe that receive reliable news is a human right and that too often people take terrible financial and political decision for lack of information about the world.
Some of the good news:
The Guardian is back on profit;
The Financial Times achieved 1m digital paying subscribers;
The New York Times generated more than $709 million in digital revenue last year, growing at a pace that suggests it will meet its stated goal of $800 million in digital sales by the end of 2020.
The newspaper boom is part of a wide-spread digital resurgence for content providers. A few years ago, record labels and movie producers were still complaining about the impact of streaming services including Netflix, YouTube and Spotify.
Now many believe that the future is brighter than ever, as smartphones have become the 24 hours a day equivalent of record players, movie theatres, TV and radio.
The same is happening for other old school media services, mainly the New York Times, that have embraced the smartphone as the newsstand. They assume that consumers are more than willing to foot the bill for content they value but have no appetite to pay for material that they can easily find elsewhere.
In this context, I welcome the decision of Apple of a revamped news and information service, but the real story is about the resurgence of high quality and profitable online journalism.