The digital revolution in media proceeds apace. While 2010 was a challenging year economically, several trends obviously came into their own. Mobile, online video, and online advertising all moved steadily into the mainstream of commerce in 2010.
Now, eMarketer, estimates that 2010 will mark the first time marketers spent more money on online advertising than they did in newspapers.
It says total newspaper spending will drop to $25.7 billion, a 6.6 percent decline. Spending on print alone, eMarketer says, will see an even greater decline to $22.8 billion.
A 13 percent boost in online ad spending will kick it up to $25.8 billion, surpassing the newspaper spend for the first time by the end of the year, it says.
EMarketer also predicts the spending gap “Will widen significantly next year.”
“It’s something we’ve seen coming for a long time, but this is a tipping point,” Geoff Ramsey, CEO of eMarketer told the Wall Street Journal.
This continues a steep decline in newspaper spending in this decade. EMarketer estimates newspaper ad spending fell by half since 2006 with little online help to bridge the difference.
Next year will also mark the return of pay walls that prevent access to some content on newspaper online sites such as that of the New York Times. The newspaper industry awaits seeing how that turns out.
More print operations are also likely to follow the Christian Science Monitor and other newspapers to online only operations.
Many newspapers have already drastically slashed staffs, thinned their product, and are struggling to survive even in major cities.
While many advertisers, particularly in local and regional markets, still like print advertising and many even prefer it to online, it is pricey compared to greater reach online at significantly lower cost per thousand.
Not so long ago we recall that nearly every door had a newspaper thump against it each morning. We recently moved from an apartment building where newspapers were in front of all but a few doors in 2000, but by 2009 even the Sunday papers disappeared. We don’t see a single print paper delivered here.
Online advertising, on the other hand, has become increasingly sophisticated. With targeting, localization, mobile, and video in the mix, it meets more advertiser needs while reaching ever larger audiences. According to the digital measurement company comScore, even display advertising produces results for package goods sales equal to or better than TV advertising.
So 2011 may be a pivotal year for the newspaper business and its future. — Allan Maurer
Email TJS Editor Allan Maurer: Allan at TechJournalsouth dot com.
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