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Online vs. print news advertising


Online is still a long way behind print but as the Recovering Journalist points out they continue on a collision course:

The latest numbers from the Newspaper Association of America show print newspaper advertising revenue continuing to drop: down 1.7 percent in 2006 to $46.6 billion. No news there–the usual doom and gloom.

But there’s another interesting number in the NAA report: Advertising revenue for online newspaper sites jumped 31.5 percent in 2006, to $2.7 billion.

He also makes another important point:

The decline in print advertising is beginning to be made up by the increase in online revenue. Print advertising fell roughly $800 million in 2006; online advertising grew roughly $650 million. That’s still a $150 million gap, which isn’t chickenfeed—but it’s not hard to imagine that gap closing in 2007.

Are all of those dollars that used to be spent on print advertising eventually going to move over to online advertising?

I don’t know but as the US, EU, Chinese and world economies grow it just makes sense to predict that despite the losses print has suffered over the last several years, advertising revenues as a whole including print are going to increase over time.

The Media Age states:

Newspapers must better engage local online readers to maximize ad targeting potential The value of the local advertising market is huge. Google wants a piece of the pie. Newspapers must embrace web technologies and maximize the value of local advertising online by creating community features around their valuable geographic segment.

and then asks the multi-billion dollar questions:

Will newspapers realize this? What technology partnerships will make this possible?

The answer to question number one is of course they will. They may or may not be owned by the same people who own them today, or new newspapers who are integrated with online revenue models may come up and replace them but it will happen one way or the other.

Anyone who knows the answer to the second question stands to make a whole lot of money.


  • Kyle Redinger

    I agree that newspapers “may or may not be owned by the same people who own them today.” I’m still waiting for the breakthrough acquisition of a content company by a technology company.

  • Rick

    It very well could happen that someone like Google, or Yahoo, or some as yet unknown online news/content company comes along and starts buying up traditional print outlets.

    Personally I see print being forced to get a lot better by online competition before I see it going away completely.

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