Mark Hollands, CEO of the Newspaper Works, says that newspapers are here to stay, have got better engagement than ever and may become the “love-child of the future”.
His comments come after former News Corp and Foxtel honcho, Kim Williams, told B&T last week that by 2045 robots would be a gazillion times smarter than humans, so much so that we won’t be able to understand them.
Taking a swipe at his old print stomping ground Williams confessed, “I would not be going with companies that are saying ‘It’s all about print’.”
Hollands joked to B&T: “He may well be right. I’m afraid my business plan doesn’t go out that far! I certainly don’t remember seeing either Captain Kirk or John Luke Picard reading a newspaper at any point in time. So therefore there may be no newspapers in their traditional format, by the time we get to Star Trek-coloured scenario.”
Hollands says consumers are getting annoyed with the constant bombardment of intrusive ads on screens where they read their “snacky” news, and says that newspapers and long-form journalism may be offered in a variety of futuristic formats.
“It may well turn out that newspapers become the love-child of 2045,” he said. “Maybe we’ll be reading them on holograms inserted in our brain, who knows, but they’re not going anywhere.
“Mobile is massive at the moment but we all know that it’s a lightening engagement, snacky, type of environment. You can do your Facebook or whatever, but you’re never going to be able to have a decent argument across the dinner table based on what you discovered on your mobile.
“The good thing about about newspapers is that they’re not disruptive and we’re getting higher engagement levels than ever.”