The Digital Daily: THR ends print


thr logo The only thing that surprised me about the announcement today that The Hollywood Reporter would discontinue its print edition was that it will happen so soon.  I must admit, I’ve been predicting this to friends and colleagues for a while, much to their denial and bewilderment, but I was saying, “in a year”…

 According to Nikki Finke’s post today in Deadline Hollywood Daily,  THR had wanted to go digital as early as next month.  It’s not clear if the online edition will still be free but the subscription print edition will be totally digital.

DHD also reports that Variety will start charging for both their online and digital edition. Good luck with that.  There will be a core group who will still subscribe to both trades for a while, but I see that audience shrinking over a short period of time as well. 

The success of the professional blogosphere is history at this point, and so is the tiny entertainment trade business linked to a small B2B audience that finds them relevant.  The next generation industry people who I know tell me that sure, they pay attention to the trades, but they read a lot of other online sources as well.  If the Hollywood trades still exist at all in a few years, I see them as narrowly focused and run by a skeletal staff.  But I’m not betting on it.

While Finke feels that “too many people need the niche content”,  the relationships between the trades and the industry may be changing as well.  Deadline Hollywood Daily only proves this point, as Ms. Finke broke the Variety story today before Variety.  Really.   It’s just that the trades had a hold on the industry–and their dwindling advertising dollars–when there was no competition, and no Internet publications to turn to. 

Now, not so much…

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