Newspapers are Dying and It’s Our Fault

This post definitely isn’t the first time that you have heard of the demise of the newspaper. Readership is down, which isn’t good for publishers, but the real reason, as we all know, is that advertising in printed newspapers is dropping off. According to eMarketer, 2010 represents the first year that online ad sales surpassed newspaper ad sales. Over the course of the year the internet roped in 3 billion more dollars than did newspapers. Accordingly newspapers saw a percentage drop in ad revenue, while virtual ads experienced a percentage increase. The trend is clear: those of us in the marketing community—media planners and buyers specifically—are killing the newspaper.

It’s no secret that we are a digital society. Six-year-olds have iPads and grandparents are on Facebook. It is reasonable to say that most printed forms of communication in general, not just advertising, will soon enough be transitioned into the digital world. For marketers the internet provides some options and assurances that just aren’t available from newspapers, no matter how well read or respected the periodical might be.

Advantages of Virtual Advertising

  • Targeting- Everything from Google AdWords to Social media advertising can be targeted towards a specific group of people. While you might have an idea of who reads which section of the newspaper, online ads offer a more certain picture of who will actually see you promotional effort.
  • Reach- It is clear that there is more potential to reach a larger audience via the internet than there is by way of advertising in newspapers. More readers, far more expansive geographic coverage, and the possibility of people sharing a good ad via email or social media make it clear that newspapers are behind the internet when it comes to reach.
  • Metrics- Outside of estimated circulation and days that your ads run, newspapers offer very little in the way of advertising metrics. The internet can report back how many visitors a site has, what times the sites are most active, and how many of the visitors chose to click through to your website or otherwise responded to your ad. When you have to justify an advertising budget, having some metrics makes the expense a lot easier on your nerves.
  • Cost- This point is simple and requires no explanation….online advertising is generally less expensive than is taking out space in a newspaper.
  • Interaction- As we said during the metrics portion, consumers can immediately respond to your online advertising efforts. Whether it is clicking through to your website or signing themselves up for a promotion, you can begin interacting with core customers as soon as they see the ad. Factor in that people are responding more and more to experiential ads which are well suited for video/audio—something newspapers are obviously incapable of—and the internet yet again bests a newspaper.

It’s only a matter of time before the internet takes over as the world’s number-one news source as it is. Online television is becoming increasingly more prevalent, and Google is starting to be featured in advertisements for televisions themselves. As our favorite communication outlets slowly merge into one single device, knowledge of what works online will make or break advertisers.


Brown Bear Media

Advertising Age

Advertising Crossing

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