Thursday, August 27, 2015

How can legacy publishers supplement falling print revenues?

themediabriefing reporting:
"Most publishers are getting into native advertising because brands believe well written content that carries their message will cut through the cacophony of digital advertising, and publishers can charge a premium prices, as opposed to traditional display advertising, where excess inventory continues to put downward pressure on CPMs and returns. To compete in this hot space, major publishers are creating content studios staffed with crack design and editorial staff to create truly premium native advertising content. The New York Times, Forbes, the Wall Street Journaland broadcaster CNN have all launched content studios."

What the next recession could do to the media business

Politico / Ken Doctor reporting: While newspapers’ financial woes now receive decreasing media attention, 2015 has been worse than 2014 – and no year has shown revenue growth since 2007. These are fragile enterprises, unquestionably in downward spiral, by any metric. Newsroom employment is down to 32,900, and will soon be half what it was 25 years ago. They are profitable, but for most, only on the basis of continual cost-cutting.
In truth, newspaper companies lost a huge amount of revenue – one-fifth of their pre-recession totals – in one year and then continued to lose. If recession accelerated newspaper ad revenue loss, so did economic recovery, as advertisers switch to digital further picked up steam. One publisher notes that throughout all the change we’ve seen, newspapers have taken a “disproportionate hit.” Unfortunately, that history would probably repeat.

Mathew Ingram on the "vicious circle" of media businesses, advertisers and scale

themediabriefing reporting:
"People don't want something that is about everything.They want sites that are specifically about the things they're interested in. That's a very difficult game to play."

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Newsonomics reporting:
The Post now can claim 90% of the monthly U.S. unique visitors of The New York Times, according to Comscore. Though under owner Jeff Bezos, the Post has become a fairly private company, we can see how it has moved up quickly in the pack of national news providers.In the chart below, note that the Post landed its greatest number of unique visitors ever in June at 54.3 million—about five million fewer than The New York Times, at 59.7 million.Compare that to October, 2013, when Bezos bought the Post. Then, the Post could count only two thirds of the Times’ audience count. Six months earlier, it could claim only 60%. Back then, the roll-up of Tribune Company newspapers usually bested the Post, as sometimes did Hearst’s newspapers.

Newsonomics: 10 Numbers on The New York Times’ 1 million Digital-Subscriber Milestone

Newsonomics reporting:

...4. The Times can count about the same number of payingdaily readers today as it could in 1995.

In those pre-digital days, the Times’ daily circulation stood at 1.5 million. Today, it counts 625,000 daily print payers (home delivery and single copy) and those 1 million digital payers. That’s a little over 1.6 million. That’s another mind-boggling equivalency. With all that has changed, in the news business particularly, roughly the same number of people pay for The New York Times. One takeaway: Even at the peak of financial success — and the ’90s were good for the industry — the Times still relied on only a tiny percentage of Americans. At one point, a million and a half paying readers meant sustaining prosperity. Now, it seems like a shaky lifeline. There’s truth and there’s perception, and a lot to think about..

9. Newsroom investment is a business driver.

Of the Times’ total expense budget, about 20 percent goes to the newsroom. That’s about one-third more than the average U.S. daily, which spends 12.5 percent — or one out of eight dollars — on content creation. It’s no accident that the two regional leaders in digital-only sales, The Boston Globe (with 63,000 digital-only subscribers) and the Star Tribune in Minneapolis (with 58,000 digital-onlies), both spend closer to 20 percent as well. Readers know quality, depth, and breadth when they see it, and they’re willing to pay for it. There’s a lesson in that for the industry.