Study provides salutary tale of print versus web

A STUDY of a newspaper that closed its print edition to become online-only has found it has since suffered losses in both revenue and web traffic.

Researchers from City University London studied Finnish financial daily, Taloussanomat, to find that, five months after going online-only, the number of unique users to the title’s website had fallen 22 per cent, with page impressions down 11 per cent.

Neil Thurman and Merja Myllylahti also estimate that readers now spend about 75 per cent less time reading Taloussanomat than they did when it was available both in print and on the web.

Says a report on “Although Taloussanomat costs fell 52 per cent when its presses were silenced, revenue also dropped – by at least 75 per cent – due to the loss of print advertising and subscription income.

“However, in absolute terms, the cost savings more than offset the loss of income because the title had been losing money for some time.

“Based on their case study, the City University researchers conclude that a newspaper would have to have an operating loss of 31 per cent or greater to make ditching its print edition worthwhile.”