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October 19, 2009

Anyone working in traditional print advertising must spend a bunch of time wondering what part of the implosion in advertising revenue is cyclical (is the recession affecting advert buying?) and what part is secular (is print the new horse buggy?).

The reports of the economy improving can be seen directly in Google’s ad revenue, as can be seen in this report, which states “Google posted record third-quarter revenues of $5.94 billion, up 8% over the second quarter, due mostly to strong online advertising revenues.”

So.. sounds like newspapers are losing revenue in print adverts while Google is still making money from their advert strategy.

While Google is starting to rake it in again, what is happening to the paper-newspapers? Here is what the New York Times has to say, “What this suggests is that we’re facing a paperless recovery wherein old-line content companies need to continue to slash in order to stay ahead of what looks to be a broad secular decline.”

Ever read “The Reconstruction of American Journalism” by Mr. Downie and Michael Schudson (Columbia University Journalism School)? I didn’t. But, according the New York Times article above,

“It was Mr. Downie who came up with the insight a few years back that the most important fight is not for newspapers, but for the newsrooms they support… telegraphs its sober intent, a realpolitik way of thinking that is reflected in the opening words of the report.”

Here are the opening words of the report:

Fewer journalists are reporting less news in fewer pages, and the hegemony that near-monopoly metropolitan newspapers enjoyed during the last third of the twentieth century, even as their primary audience eroded, is ending. Commercial television news, which was long the chief rival of printed newspapers, has also been losing its audience, its advertising revenue, and its reporting resources.”

Yikes!

So, if the papers cannot support the news-rooms, then who will report on the news?

Personally, I hate the current method of online-adverts. I find them to be annoying at times, and too easy to miss at other times. As online advertising becomes more predominant, it will be interesting to see how these online ads evolve.

Of course, of greatest interest to me, how will land developers advertise online, and which will be the best model for them?

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