Club Penguin Times, the weekly online newspaper from Club Penguin – Disney’s virtual world – is apparently read by about 6.7 million people. Think about that for a minute. A paper covering a fictitious world full of penguins has more than double the readers than the Sun, the Daily Mail, the Independent, the Telegraph, The Times, the Guardian – any of the UK newspapers.
The paper incorporates social networking aspects, as many of the ‘real world’ papers do, but one of the most popular features is the user-submitted content. Up to 30,000 submissions are made daily to the paper. The Club Penguin Times doesn’t even carry any advertising, either. Disney rely solely on premium subscriptions and an online store.
People have been talking about the newspaper world being in decline for quite some time, but it’s only when stories like this surface that you realize exactly how big the issue is (no pun intended). By the time these kids grow up, our newspaper media will be in a very different place – hopefully a more connected, more social one.