Newspaper subscriptions are plummeting and have been for some time. I think it is pretty clear that this trend is going to continue as newspapers struggle to redefine their product.
The future for them appears to be online according to Media Daily News:
WHILE THEIR PRINT EDITIONS CONTINUED to slide, newspapers enjoyed an online audience boom in 2007, according to the Newspaper Association of America, which says the total unique audience for newspaper Web sites increased 9% in the fourth quarter to an average 62.8 million per month, compared to the same period in 2006. The figure from October, when 63.2 million people visited a newspaper Web site, is an all-time record.
Furthermore, the statistics, compiled by Nielsen Online, show that 39% of all active Web users visited newspaper Web sites during the fourth quarter, for an average 44 minutes per month–a slight increase over last year’s fourth-quarter average of 43 minutes, but substantially higher than the 36 minutes in 2004.
Most newspapers have suffered from a common ailment amongst monopolies – they thought they could define the market. Instead of staying ahead of the market shift, the newspapers appeared to have a hardening of the categories. The online content shift has been underway for many years and the dailies have been slow to react to it.
One thing is for sure in the Internet age, companies are penalized for moving at glacial speed.