A team of Northwestern University students led by pioneering professor Rich Gordon has published the results of a compelling analysis on Legacy.com and the future of newspaper obituaries.
Gordon published an overview today on Poynter E-Media Tidbits, where he urged the newspaper industry to pay more attention to the state of obituaries.
Obituary revenue has weathered the massive industry changes relatively well for now, Gordon says, but that may quickly change as it did for other classified categories. He writes:
“For newspapers, the key lesson from history should be clear: Act now, before it’s too late. And don’t let the industry’s current, relatively strong position in death notices and obituaries stand in the way of innovation, collaboration and partnerships.”
“Historically, via death notices and obituaries, newspapers met the needs of all of these audience segments. But changes in technology, media usage and cultural norms are combining to threaten newspapers’ dominance of this category.”