They say hindsight is a glorious thing. When looking back, everyone can be an expert. Should have done this, shouldn’t have done that.
If you could go back in time, let’s say five years, and set out a new strategy for a failing newspaper, what would you do?
Paywall? More blogs? Less blogs? Fewer editions?
Here’s a market where you can put the benefit of hindsight into real action: New Zealand.
As Jim Tucker writes, the Kiwi press has thus far dodged the slaughter of the ever-changing media world, keeping sales generally intact.
But that’s beginning to change. Jim’s figures — from the NZ ABCs — suggest all is not well:
While the downward trend shown in Audit Bureau of Circulation figures (about 4% over the past 18 months) is steady compared to the slaughter overseas, some of the bigger players are taking heavy hits.
The biggest, the NZ Herald, has dropped 7.1% (13,622) to 177,391 in the period mid-year 2007 to December, 2008.
The other major national player, the Wellington-based Dominion Post, has also taken a hit, down 6.2% to 90,279.
But these are ’safe’ figures, rather than the industry-defining declines we’ve had to deal with in the UK. So there’s still time.
Knowing what we know now, what would you do about it?