Norway Dismisses PDF Newspapers, Unless You Consider a Circulation in the Low Three Figures Success

You may not be a regular reader of reports from the Norweigian Businesses’ Association, but a new report from the organization, which we found cited on Poynter’s E-Media Tidbits, is must reading for anyone figuring out how best to deploy newspaper content on the Net. Turns out that, as far as Norwegians are concerned, PDF versions of newspapers are a flop. According to the account on the Poynter site (which we’re trusting, as none of us here are fluent in Norwegian), less than one-tenth of one percent of newspaper circulation in Norway is via PDF. Key stat: “Regional newspaper Bergens Tidende has the highest PDF circulation in the country, with a not-so-staggering daily sale of 128 copies.” This trend isn’t just limited to the land of the fjords, though: the post mentions that PDFs haven’t caught up in Israeli newspapers, either.
In the U.S., the most high-profile attempt to get newspaper readers out of their web browsers and into another format, the New York Times‘s “Times Reader,” is still in beta, and the Gray Lady isn’t releasing numbers of subscribers. But the Times is having good early success with its TimesSelect web-based service, with more than 200,000 paid subscribers and 400,000-plus signing up as part of home delivery, so there may turn out to be more demand for the service in the U.S. than in Norway.
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