That’s right, blame the smartphone and Steve Jobs — not Facebook and Google — for the damage being done to established or legacy media, especially print and broadcast TV. It is the rapid growth of smartphone ownership that is driving the destruction of the ad bases for legacy media, especially in the core consumer market for such media — people aged 50 and over — the boomers. And with smartphone ownership at or above saturation levels for younger demographics, it’s no wonder analysts are forecasting even greater falls in print ad revenues and why broadcast TV groups here are slashing the value of their broadcasting businesses.

A report from a leading UK analysts group Enders, contains a couple of key points and forecasts that will terrify print media companies and shareholders, and probably force media owners like Rupert Murdoch and his clan to split News Corp to save it from implosion, as well forcing the likes of Trinity Mirror and the Daily Mail Group to either fold, break up or merge. Newspaper and magazine owners around the world will be forced have to protect the rest of the businesses by isolating the legacy assets, as US groups such as Gannett have tried to do with mixed success.

For News Corp Australia, where many believe, King Canute-like, that they and their employers will escape the remorseless forces of falling newspaper sales and tumbling print ad revenues (Fairfax believes it can eke out a living for a little while longer, but is planning another reorganisation of print to boost the digital side), life in the next three years is going to be one continual slide. — Glenn Dyer

Peter Fray

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