The widening dichotomy between digital and print advertising
By Louis Eksteen
All traditional media companies the world over are continuing to experience massive disruption to their long-standing, previously hugely profitable business models. Two announcements, only a few days apart in the second-half of January 2013 are indicative of the harsh new reality for media.
The first indicated journalism job cuts at Financial Times (FT). The second declared Google earned $50 billion in revenue during its 2012 fiscal year.
In an amazingly frank mail to staff by FT editor Lionel Barber discussing the FT's new "digital first" strategy, he makes it clear that "print [is], still a vital source of advertising revenues".
As an aside: Barber's mail uses the word "print" four times while "digital" appears six times, "internet" and "web" once each and "social media" twice. (I can recall vividly that just a couple of years ago IT departments in certain traditional media companies still "banned" the use of Facebook...)
Barber's reference to the importance of print advertising revenues highlights the widening dichotomy between digital and print advertising. While digital audiences are growing rapidly and engagement with digital news and other media products increases, it seems as if advertisers continue to be prepared to shell out significant investment for print advertisements, handing successful printed products a handsome profit margin. At the same time, they do not apply this approach to the digital extensions of the print products they advertise in.
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