Amongst the gloom, some good news for newspapers' online efforts. Research by Veronis Suhler Stevenson shows that legacy media companies are growing their share of the online ad market faster than the Big Tech competitors Google and Yahoo!.
Paid Content reports:
"Traditional media’s share of the $22 billion 2006 spend is forecast at 37 percent, up 23 percent from 2000. By 2010 that is predicted to rise to 35 percent or $17 billion in a total market worth $44 billion. VSS MD James Rutherford said that despite the 'handwringing' about old media not making money online, the data shows the hard work is paying off."
Yes, the hard work is paying off. That growth, though, is coming off a low base, so it will be interesting to see if the rate holds. The strength of the legacy brands can translate into strong online audience numbers but it relies on more hard work and staying ahead of some pretty smart competition. (See Cameron Reilly's interview with Bob Cauthorn for an alternate take on the brand argument.)
Add to this the proliferation of independent and niche publications, and it will be very interesting to see how much of the online pie the old media companies can actually grab.
Time Inc is betting big. It is selling 18 of its niche publications to concentrate on the mass audience titles, both online and in print.
CEO Ann Moore explains:
“While these titles are good performers, Time Inc. is focusing its energy, resources and investment on our largest and most profitable brands, brands that have demonstrated an ability to draw large audiences in print and digital form. … I am confident that the biggest brands in print, with our expertise and support, will develop into the biggest brands online.”