Wall Street: iPad Won’t Save Newspapers

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The iPad has been widely embraced by publishers who think it will stave off the death of print, but the latest forecast is grim: not even the “magical” iPad can save newspapers from the grave.

Revenue from digital magazines will skyrocket over the next few years, leaping to $611 million by 2015, up dramatically from last year’s $4 million, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Newspapers, seeking a way to salvage declining readership, apparently won’t receive a similar boost from digital versions. News delivered by tablet by 2015 will add just $331 million in revenue for the industry, only double the $150 million earned from digital sales in 2010, according to a Forbes report.

In May, Forbes reported magazine publishers are discovering many of their worries about offering digital subscriptions were “unfounded.” The worry was that Apple’s requirement that readers “opt-in” to releasing subscription data would hamper sales. However, more and more magazines are coming on board with Apple after learning most readers are happy to reveal personal data in return for subscription deals.

Even with digital subscription deals inked, adding iPad owners as readers won’t stem the tide of red ink for newspapers. “A gain of $181 million won’t be nearly enough to cancel out the decline in newspapers’ print circulation revenues, which will are forecast to fall from $10.2 billion in 2010 to $9.5 billion in 2015,” Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici writes. By comparison, the magazine industry will see an increase of $162 million from added subscription revenues.