Imran Khan, managing director for J.P. Morgan, believes there remains reason for optimism in media despite the economic downturn --- all media but newspapers, that is.
Khan believes newspapers didn't sufficiently change and that advertisers now believe their model is too flawed to continue supporting. Khan believes the $40-billion U.S. newspaper advertising business will find its way in large measure elsewhere.
Online will attract some of it, but advertisers will need assurance of the quality of content adjoining their display.
New data from the Newspaper Association of America indicates a $7.5-billion decline in print and online advertising in 2008. Even online revenues declined, albeit slightly.
The 16.6-per-cent drop was most significant in classified, employment and automotive categories.n But local and national retail also took hits in the year.
In his Reflections of a Newsosaur blog, Alan Mutter calculates that nearly one-quarter of all newspaper/online advertising has disappeared in three years, despite strong economic growth and online growth for much of that period. Clearly 2008 was the worst year on record for the U.S. newspaper industry.
A new Nielsen Co study has found that Americans see 61 minutes of commercial messages and promotions and spend 8.5 hours in front of a screen each day.
Television remains the dominant advertising medium, followed by the computer, radio and newspapers. The study followed 350 people and their media consumption over weeks.
Surprisingly, it was the middle-aged cohort in its 40s and 50s who spent the most time --- 9.5 hours daily --- in front of a screen. Among younger people, TV viewing was lower, text messaging was high and computer use was strong.
You knew it couldn't be true: celebrities sending Tweets at all hours of the day and night, some of them snappy and witty and seemingly on an interesting message.
Well, the New York Times has unmasked a few ghostwriters of the Twittersphere for such celebs as 50 Cent, Kanye West, Britney Spears, political figures, and even Guy Kawasaki, one of the Twitter kings. Some are real --- Shaquille O'Neil, Lance Armstrong, for example.
But a surprising number are delegating the duty of producing 140 characters. If you can't trust Twitter, what is left?
Reading the piece is followed by a sigh accepting reality.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project has a new report on mobile technology and it signals some cultural changes taking hold: Increasing use, sharing, connection and, in some cases, apprehension.
The majority of Americans polled still don't have an aggressive attachment to mobile technology, but some 40 per cent feel they do.
The cohort Pew calls the "ambivalent networkers" are young and glued to their gear, even if they understand it's worthwhile to unplug from time to time. But they're online in some cases because they fear what would happen if they went off the grid.
Their technology feels like an obligation.
That said, there is a similarly-sized cohort at ease with the technology, collaborating effectively and often.
Woody Lewis, writing for Mashable, identifies five key strategies for newspapers to avoid extinction. In his words, doing nothing is not an option.
His five choices:
2. Look for collaboration and partnerships.
3. Find a technology partner.
4. Creat a Twitter taxonomy for your sections.
5. Explore micropublishing solutions.
His contribution feels quite relevant to the newsroom condition.
The annual Newspaper Audience Data Bank (NADBank) findings out today indicate newspaper readership has remained stable in the last year in Canada.
Nearly three-quarters of adults read a printed paper at least once a week, 48 per cent read one daily, 19 per cent read a newspaper's content online, and 77 per cent read either a printed or online edition weekly. It suggests there is a strong overlap of online readers also reading the printed edition.
The most popular content for men is sports (54%) and for women is arts and entertainment (53%). Unlike many countries, Canada still has a strong readership in the 18-24 and 25-39 age demographies.
A new report from IBM suggests media are losing touch with digital consumers and need urgent change to satisfy advertisers and the agencies representing them.
The report, a survey of 2,800 consumers worldwide, says the rise of social media has particularly created a gulf between what producers provide and the audience expects. It says media need to be able to provide finer geo-targeting and return-on-investment measurement, among other things.
The report suggests digital advertising will grow, but advertising dissatisfaction will follow if changes aren't made.
The U.K. newspaper industry is asking the British government to compel Google to compensate for or be restricted from using its content. They've written the culture minister with a series of requests, including one aimed at collecting funds from search engines --- in their case, they specifically target Google.
It's a very bold measure, even in challenging times, because the conventional wisdom is that Google actually drives substantial traffic to sites that would otherwise not be found. Google attaches ads to its search engine results, but newspapers attach ads to the pages people surf --- thus the feeling of fair is fair.
Google has lost previous claims for compensation. It isn't clear if the British newspaper industry will pursue a similar route, but its letter hints of it.
Newsrooms worldwide are dealing with the legacy/new media balance and reconstructing their operations accordingly. The Financial Times has outlined its new model to staff in this attached document.
FT is looking for a Web-ready workflow that has three elements: create, craft and complete. It outlines the process that involves more reporters generating headlines, doing some editing and adding hyperlinks and metadata.
The aim is a "right first time" reporting. It's a definite departure from longstanding workflow and a model many newsrooms can evaluate for their own purposes. Those interested in how newsrooms are making changes will find the note to staff a valuable insight.
The plan and an FAQ are below.