Silicon Alley Insider did the math and discovered that it costs the New York Times twice as much money to print their newspaper every year than it would be to just hand all of its subscribers free Kindles and distribute the paper digitally.
The math’s as sound as any math that is extrapolated from uninvolved third parties can be, but the logic’s a bit whack: the argument assumes that the only people who buys the New York Times are physical paper subscribers, which is certainly not true… in fact, quite the opposite. Far more people buy the New York Times at newstands than receive it on their doorstep.
But Silicon Alley Insider says that doesn’t matter, because their math is very conservative:
A source with knowledge of the real numbers tells us we’re so low in our estimate of the Times’s printing costs that we’re not even in the ballpark.
Are we trying to say the the New York Times should force all its print subscribers onto the Kindle or else? No. That would kill ad revenues and also, not everyone loves the Kindle.
What we’re trying to say is that as a technology for delivering the news, newsprint isn’t just expensive and inefficient; it’s laughably so.
There’s few people even in print media these days who wouldn’t nod their head to that last point.