US will see newspapers go way of the dodo by 2017

Media tyrant mogul Rupert Murdoch has for some time now been shouting about the virtues of newspapers on tablet devices – his organs have been promoting the iPad and a shift behind paywalls is on the way. Indeed, only The Sun is free to view at the moment but that is set to change soon too.  

According to media industry analysts at Future Exploration Network he could be making the right move. The Grauniad has spent a great deal of dosh on ensuring it has quality journalists pushing out a lot of content on a daily basis, but has lost money through its free model. Future Exploration’s paper suggests that traditional media could be dead as early as 2017 in certain regions of the world.

In its Newspaper Extinction Timeline, it reveals that the emergence of tablet devices and other ways of viewing the news will see the extinction of traditional newspaper media by 2017 in America. It is followed by the UK and Iceland where the funeral is set for 2019, then Canada and Norway at 2020. 

But the figures are broadly one sided. While the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia and much of Scandinavia are keen for a media shift, Europe as a whole isn’t fussed – with Italy hitting the extinction period in 2027, while France is 2029 and Germany is 2030. They are followed by Japan and Metropoltan China in 2031. 

“Every country is different,” says chairman of Future Exploration Network Ross Dawson, “The pace of change in media structure is being led by the US and UK, with other countries not so far behind.” It’s a tough one to pigeonhole: while the digital charge is being led by North America and the West, traditionaly newspapers are gaining further credibility and output in developing countries. 

And nine years is, in terms of a business, a long time for a paywall to generate a decent ROI. All figures must be taken with a pinch of salt – Future Exploration Network doesn’t tell us the exact ins and outs. In its notes it says: “This schedule for newspaper extinction shows best estimates given current trends.”

You can have a look at the prediction graphic here if our resized one, below, is too small, which it is.