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How Big Could New Media Be?


I was doing some research this morning on the difference between ad revenue online vs. print for the newspaper industry. For several years now print ad revenues for newspapers has been declining while online ad revenues have been increasing at double digit rates since at least 2004 (earliest statistics from NAA).

As The Recovering Journalist pointed out in March of 2006, online ad revenue is basically replacing print ad revenue in the newspaper industry.

That got me to thinking just how big could the New Media industry become?

If you have ever heard me get on my soap box you know I believe new media represents the reinvention of newspapers, magazines, radio and television all at the same time. Eventually I guess you could throw feature length films in there as well ($26.7 billion). But lets just stick with the first four for now. 

According to NAA the newspaper business is currently a $59 billion dollar industry.

Broadcast radio sits at $21.3 billion.

Broadcast TV $57 billion.

The best number I can find for magazine publishing is $70 billion annually. This is a tricky category due to the segmentation between consumer, B to B, other niches and tendency of the industry to include trade show revenue  with print advertising but this seems like a conservative number. (If anyone has better data I welcome your input).

That gives us a grand total $2.7 trillion dollars in annual revenue up for grabs. Do I expect New Media to steal every dollar away from traditional media? No but those, revenues will not remain static either. 

Predictions of on line ad revenues eventually equaling their print and broadcast counterparts are numerous so it is only logical to conclude that for new media content creators time is on our side and the revenues will eventually come. That doesn’t mean every blogger will be rich (more on that in another post) but it does mean a lot more will be able to earn living doing it regardless of the genre of their content. And many thousands of bloggers, podcasters, Internet TV and Radio broadcasters will in indeed make it big and become “rich”.

So if you are passionate about your content, keep working hard and one day you very well may be more than just “Internet famous”.

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