The age of crossover: Ken Doctor’s top trends

Newspapers are currently in a rebuilding stage, block by block, says U.S.-based media analyst Ken Doctor, adding: “I call this the age of crossover.” While only 5 to 10 percent of publishers’ income currently comes from digital, today is about new ideas and new models, which is part of the long-term transition the industry is going through.

by WAN-IFRA Staff | June 9, 2014

Moderating the day’s last session, titled “The game changers,” at WAN-IFRA’s World Newspaper Congress in Torino, Italy, Doctor notes several trends he sees in the newspaper industry, including:

  • New money is moving into the news business, as evidenced by large-scale investments by Warren Buffett buying up dozens of newspapers and also Jeff Bezos’s purchase of the Washington Post. “What does Bezos see?” asked Doctor: “The future, not the past.” What might he do? It’s all about data and analysis, he says.
  • Revolution of reader revenue has arrived.
  • Paywalls 2.0 are here, the best example being The New York Times’ NYT Now, a new, paid product unlike a conventional subscription. Says Doctor, “This is new, paid and mobile.”
  • Mobile is the next crossover.
  • Convergence has arrived.
  • Real-world events are a part of the digital future.
  • Users are transitioning from readers, to subscribers, to members.
  • We are going to a new virtuous circle: “What do readers want? Your best stuff and others’ best stuff,” Doctor says.
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