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Might newspapers be closer to extinction than anyone now thinks? 6/15/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Advertising revenues, Newspapers.
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Publishing 2.0’s Scott Karp suspects that the NY Times has been trying to bury some very bad trends in its newspaper advertising revenues, so he decided to grab a shovel and take a look. He concluded that in May, print ad spending had plunged 14%, with a $19 million decline dwarfing a $3 million increase in online advertising revenue.

Maybe it’s time for some sober reflection on how loyal we can expect advertisers to be to newspapers as a medium. Classified ads (27% of Times’ revenues, down 13%) seem destined for extinction given the overwhelming superiority of the Internet as a platform for these ads. Retail ads (23% of revenues, down 15%) continue to be hurt by price-shopping on the Internet, everyday low price trends in brick-and-mortar stores, and the inability of advertisers to target sales prospects given newspapers’ relatively broad and undefined audiences. And, advertisers can forget about reaching the attractive, under-30 crowd through newspapers because most are not picking-up the paper-reading habit.

And speaking of habits, is it possible this is now what it all comes down to? The habits of an aging readership that is more comfortable holding paper in its hands? The habits of ad agencies who enjoy the commissions they receive from placing newspaper ads, and are reluctant to jump into undeveloped, risky new revenue models? However, sooner or later, it must come down to the habit of advertisers to maximize profits.

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[…] Source:The Future of News Publishing 2.0’s Scott Karp suspected that the NY Times has been trying to bury some very bad trends in its newspaper advertising revenues, so he decided to grab a shovel and take a look. He concluded that in May, print ad spending had plunged 14%, with a $19 million decline dwarfing a $3 million […] Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

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