A broad band of change

In case you're wondering, we are past the tipping point ...

In the U.S., between 2000 and 2005, around 18% of all broadband households terminated their newspaper subscriptions.
Early U.S. data through the first three quarters of 2006 suggest that, by 2010, 35% of all broadband households will have terminated their newspaper subscriptions.

That's from a new report by William Bird, a market-moving analyst for Citigroup. See coverage in Business Week, Barron's Tech Trader Daily and The Houston Chronicle.

Not even the trends he finds that ought to be positive for print circulation are helping: the fastest gorwing age group is 55-plus and the slowing rates of broadband adotption (because the percentage already is high).

The only conclusion we can draw from these data is that the pace of Internet substitution is accelerating so fast that it is overwhelming two positive underlying trends: older demographics and slowing broadband adoption.

The changing economics and demographics could mean newspapers as a category won't see bottom line growth for five years.

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