Something mobile could be the coming newspaper killer

Brian Cubbison, who is just down the road from me at the Syracuse Post-Standard, found an interesting quote from Scott Adams.

“Dilbert” creator Scott Adams predicts that newspapers will die out within two upgrades of a cell phone.

“The iPhone, and its inevitable copycats, (let’s call them iClones) are newspaper killers,” he writes in the Dilbert Blog. “When you have a web browser in your pocket, a printed newspaper is redundant.”

He admits that 10 years ago, he predicted newspapers would die out in five years. So maybe newspapers will last for at least four upgrades of a cell phone.

Technology is the biggest competitor news on paper faces.

I’ve said before, technology is changing fast and the speed of change is only accelerating.

If it isn’t the iPhone, it will be something else that poses an even more serious challenge to news on paper than the web does today.

The threat isn’t from all people making the leap. It’s from just enough making the leap to turn newspapers from struggling but still profitable enterprises into money losing empty shells.

No newspaper owner, private or public, not even a “non-profit” one, is going to keep an enterprise going that is losing money and shows no hope of ever making money again.

We simply must get on top of this technology curve and figure out a profitable path.

And think about this — if dumping the print edition on the web isn’t a smart strategy, how much dumber will it be for mobile consumers, who are likely to be even more driven by “tell me what you know now” and “keep it short” than today’s web audience?


2 thoughts on “Something mobile could be the coming newspaper killer

  1. Wow. And far away are we from the information sickness (people bleeding from their brains) as described in I believe it was Isaac Asimov’s novels.

    But, seriously, after “tell me what you know now” does that mean there is no further information needed? We know who’s running for president, but not what they stand for? Where will that info come from? Cell phones? There’s no room for longer stories, printed in longer form, paper or plastic? You’ll read a position paper on your cell? Really? I think it’ll take longer than four upgrades.

  2. […] Howard Owens says something mobile could be the newspaper killer. I think mobile technologies in general are the newspaper killers. It is just a matter of time for smart phones with cheaper data plans and RSS and WiMax and whatever happens after the FCC’s 700 MHz auction to spread beyond the techy, business, and uber-user worlds into the hands of general consumers. […]

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