HubCiti™ Survey Shows Newspaper Industry Confidence Stable to Slightly Increasing

New technologies and advanced revenue generating digital services leading confidence boost

According to the inaugural HubCiti Publishers’ Confidence & Technology Report, the overall confidence in the sustainability of the local and regional newspaper industry has remained virtually unchanged from last year. However, 33 percent of publishers believe that the industry is getting better – likely based on new technologies, new ways of thinking about their business model, and the new sources of revenue available with digital and social products and services. Consumers of news also responded that they are more likely to view news today on a mobile app or website than print, further providing additional opportunities for publishers to better target readers with the advanced digital services now available.

“The main benefit that newspaper content provides is its high level of journalistic integrity, credibility and quality.” stated Gregory J. Osberg, CEO and founder of Revlyst. “News consumers are tired of clickbait stories and they’re seeking more locally-focused stories that they can act on in their communities – only the papers have the resources and editorial knowledge to provide that level of local content.”

Among the key findings:

Publishers Report

·       87 percent of publisher respondents rank print ads and classifieds as very important to revenue generation. Respondents ranked subscriptions and website as second and third, with 74 percent and 64 percent, stating they are very important to revenue generation.

·       Respondents ranked video as the least important to revenue with 60 percent stating it was not important.

·       Among revenue generation strategies, greatest increase in anticipated revenue generation comes from mobile apps with a 14 percent increase over the next 12 months. (This beat out print ads, subscriptions, websites, events and video.)

·       63 percent of respondents stated they believe implementing new digital services will help generate additional revenue, but only 43 percent have plans to implement in the next six months.

·       Seven percent of respondents said they strictly use a third party for digital service implementation, with 57 percent stating they utilize both in-house and third party services.

·       According to respondents, the main focus of new digital services for publishers will be website and mobile app implementation (31 percent and 23 percent respectively), with video at third place with 15 percent.

·       Thirty-nine percent of publishers plan to hire new employees for digital service implementations, with 54 percent planning to also hire a third party firm.

·       Publishers stated they plan to see a 50 percent increase in revenue from both website and mobile app activity in the next 12 months.

News Consumer Report

·       Consumer respondents stated that they mainly received their local news from TV (36 percent) and online news aggregators (23 percent), with specific newspaper websites being the lowest at 5 percent.

·       Forty-one percent of respondents stated they prefer a digital version of print content compared to 26 percent that said they like to search for specific content, with nearly 60 percent stating they would not want content suggested for them.

·       Only 8 percent of respondents stated they had a high tolerance for watching an ad in order to read an article or watch a video, compared to 28 percent that would not watch an ad at all. Likewise, 60 percent said they would not pay for special digital content.

·       When asked what kind of content besides news they’d like delivered to them, respondents chose traffic and weather updates as the top option with 46 percent and restaurant specials second with 15 percent.

“It is obvious from the survey that publishers know they need to implement advanced digital services, stated Roy Truitt, CEO of HubCiti. “Within the next six to twelve months every newspaper will need to ramp up mobile-digital if they are to meet market and consumer expectations. Just as important is to redefine themselves as the source of hyper-local information of all kinds, not just news.”

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States from May 10-15, May 25-27 and June 6-8, 2016 -- among 207 adults ages 18 and older of which 160 are directly employed in newspaper publishing. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.


About HubCiti

HubCiti provides a comprehensive suite of mobile products, digital solutions and implementation services that help local media companies accelerate and tailor their digital transformation in a step-by-step, cost effective and profitable way.  For more information, visit or call (844) 254–9663 X 700.

Source: Hubciti