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Content may be king but many companies have found that producing and distributing quality content requires a royal bank account.
The plight of the newspaper industry is a good example: news hasn't gone out of style but, for many newspapers, the cost structures associated with producing the news is incompatible with today's market. Costs simply exceed revenues.
Sponsorship and internet marketing are proving to be a tough couple. But they need immediate attention and innovation if brands have a shot at finding an effective presence on social media networks.
Two recent datapoints illustrate the issue. Yesterday's IAB report of 2008's ad results showed a 40 percent drop in sponsorships online. That is a shocking plunge for a business that tracked a 10 percent overall increase. And IDCs report on social media advertising delivered last week showed sponsorships may be the only form of advertising social network users will tolerate. "Tolerate" is the operative word here. They will not tolerate any kind of traditional display approach.
It's funny the difference a couple of years can make. Two years ago, the global economy was roaring along and everyone was excited about internet advertising.
Growth in spend was strong and many companies big and small saw unlimited potential in their future advertising revenues.
If 'platforms' were a piece of clothing, it'd be safe to say that everybody's wearing them.
News organizations are getting into the act too and The Guardian yesterday announced the launch of its Open Platform.
If The New York Times fails, it won’t be for lack of effort. The cash-strapped Gray Lady launched an aggressive new content-driven effort today, aimed at more engaged readers and hopefully, new advertisers.
It’s called “The Local.” Before you say, "Right, newspapers are local," understand this is actually hyperlocal. It's an attempt by The Times to re-position itself from the center of the globe to the center of town.
That the newspaper business is ailing isn't exactly news. With some newspapers closing altogether and others doing what they can to deal with still-declining revenue, it's clear that the newspaper industry needs to adapt.
The internet is increasingly the medium that newspapers are turning to as they try to adapt but it's not a quick fix.
Yesterday I discussed how The New York Times is looking to subscriptions or some form of paid content once again to help it weather not only a tough economy, but a dire financial situation brought about by declining print revenue.
Paid content can be a great business model but it's not always easy to pull off, especially when you've been giving your content away for free. After all, why would someone start paying for something you were giving them at no cost just a week ago?
Facing the worst financial situation in its history and being challenged to produce more revenue from its increasingly important digital ventures, The New York Times is revisiting a tried and true business model: charging people for content.
Despite the fact that NYT abandoned its TimesSelect subscription service in September 2007, New York Times Editor Bill Keller told the audience at a Q&A panel that "The lesson of that experiment, however, was not that readers won’t pay for content...Really good information, often extracted from reluctant sources, truth-tested, organized and explained — that stuff wants to be paid for."
Local TV revenues are projected to drop over 15 percent this year, according to some analysts. Yet at the same time, hypertargeted local advertising is growing. Pinning its hopes on local online advertising, NBC Local Media just launched Neighborhood News Pages in nine O&O markets including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
The New York Times, itself no stranger to rapidly eroding ad revenues, has similarly partnered with EveryBlock to deliver more political news to the EveryBlock New York web site. Content pulled from the Times will notify users each time a local political representative is mentioned in the newspaper of record.
Services like Facebook and Twitter are changing the ways we locate and share important news and information, and they have proven to be valuable additions to the field of journalism.
Yet their rise has created some thorny ethical questions for reporters and news organizations.
2009 is shaping up to be an interesting year for the newspaper industry.
As the economic downturn accelerates the severe declines in print revenue most major newspapers have been experiencing, the imperative for change will only get stronger. Indeed, 2009 may be a make or break year for many of them.
Facing dire financial circumstances that have it selling assets to survive, The New York Times is doing something it had previously refused to do throughout its 157 year history; placing ads on its front page.
The January 5, 2009 issue of one of the world's most storied dailies contains a modest ad, two-and-a-half inches high, at the bottom of its front page that promotes CBS.