newspapers stackNewspapers in their current form will become insignificant in the United States by 2017.

That prediction comes from The Future Exploration Network’s research on the future of media. As you can see in the company’s digital visualization below, newspapers as we know them will be extinct across the entire globe by 2040. By 2025, they’ll be extinct in nearly 20 countries around the world:

  • 2017: United States
  • 2019: United Kingdom and Iceland
  • 2020: Canada and Norway
  • 2021: Finland, Singapore, and Greenland
  • 2022: Australia and Hong Kong
  • 2023: Denmark
  • 2024: New Zealand, Spain, Czech, and Taiwan
  • 2025: Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland

Source: Future Exploration Network (click the image to view it at full size at the source)

newspaper extinction timeline

What is Causing the Extinction of Newspapers?

The current form of newspapers is nearing extinction for a variety of reasons on global and national levels. According to Future Exploration Network, the key driving factors are:

  • Affordability and accessibility of mobile devices
  • Increased technology adoption
  • Economic growth
  • Newspaper business models, financial structures, and revenue-generation practices
  • Consumer behaviors related to price sensitivity and changing media preferences
  • Government regulation and financial support for the media
  • Demographic changes such as increase in literacy

You can see all of the details about these key factors in the visualization from Future Exploration Network shown below.

Source: Future Exploration Network (click the image to view it at the source)

newspaper extinction timeline key factors

According to a research study from McKinsey & Co. that was commissioned by The New York Times, newspapers continue to struggle to shift to digital distribution. Edmund Lee at Re/code reports the McKinsey study found that The New York Times can expect to sell a maximum of 1 million online subscriptions at $30 each, but 800,000 to 900,000 subscriptions is more likely to be the maximum. Lee writes:

“The Times already hit the low end of that projection in June with 831,000 paying online readers. And the number of new customers it added in the three months leading up to that point, about 32,000, were mostly for the new NYT Now app, a slimmed-down version of the Times that costs $8 a month. It looks like McKinsey got it right.”

Unless newspapers can find a way to transform their business models, Future Exploration Network’s extinction predictions for newspapers as we know them could come to fruition even sooner. Research keeps showing again and again that the end is near. How soon the end will arrive has yet to be determined.

Do you think newspapers will successfully turn things around or will newspapers in their current form die sooner rather than later? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Image: Jon S. licensed CC BY-2.0