The future of online publishing , Part I

It should be obvious that the future of online publishing is bright. In the future, people will get a larger and larger proportion of their news and information from online sources, and many of these sources will be profitable. Some could be be extremely profitable.
Some of the audience will come from television viewership, but most of it will come from print.
Newspapers are about to lose half their revenue — the most profitable half. Classified advertising is going away and never coming back. This meanst that in the near future newspapers are going to be thinner and more focused. They’re going to have to make some incredibly difficult choices between hard news and features, local coverage and US and world coverage. I expect newspapers to become a lot more locally oriented. They may look a lot more like the (free) Palo Alto Daily than their owners (or newsrooms) are comfortable with today.
Specialty magazines could lose a lot of their audience (especially at the newsstand) over a somewhat longer period of time as more and more readers discover their needs are met by sites like CNET and dpreview. Also, there are external changes going on in the newsstand market, which is consolidating and squeezing out smaller titles and publishers. Fashion and celebrity titles will dominate magazine readership and advertising even more than they do now.
Book publishing is more complex, but reference, how-to, and other ephemeral non-fiction seem to be the most challenged by the Net. It’s going to be a while before bestselling fiction or non-fiction, literary fiction, or novelty and gift titles are threatened by online media. But, why buy a cookbook if you can get recipes off the Net?
The time the people aren’t spending with newspapers and magazines for news, information, or diversion is going right to the Net. The sources there will be more varied, entertaining, up-to-date, and individualized.
Later:
* How will the business be structured?
* Where does the money come from?
* Who are the winners and losers?
* What do these new sites look like?

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