Online Newspapers: websites vs. digital editions

Via Silicon Alley Insider today, Borrell Associates is reporting that the the growth of newspaper online operations have declined since the beginning of the year but they’ve still grown at a compound rate of 33.5% since 2002.

In other news, Transcontinental Media announced yesterday that that it is working with Vancouver’s NewspaperDirect to migrate its newspapers to digital editions as part of its ongoing online strategy and the company’s commitment to implement technology that makes life easier for its customers.

“We researched a number of the available digital edition solutions in the market and NewspaperDirect’s technology demonstrated that it was most leading edge and fitting for our needs,” said Marc-Noël Ouellette, Senior Vice President, Newspaper Group, Transcontinental Media. “As part of Transcontinental’s online strategy, partnering with this niche-based company was very inline with our growth objectives.”

With over 170 papers across Canada, including a dozen dailies, Transcontinental reaches, on average, three million readers a week, making it a leading source of information and news in both English and French-speaking communities.

The newspaper editions can be accessed from any web browser and give subscribers instant access to a digital replica of the full printed editions. Unlike a complementary newspaper website, they is no need to sell online ad inventory separately from print advertising as the old-school print edition is replicated to maintain the look and feel of a newspaper.

This online advertising work-around is hardly a long-term solution for the interactive web and likely still keeping newspaper executives up late at night.