Dirk Singer, head of the London PR shop Cow, believes attention to advertising across the board — not just newspaper readership — is what is declining, and as consumers shift media habits online ironically television networks may come out the winner. Dirk writes:
So the elephant in the room is that if we are talking about the age of news brands, we are not just talking about newspapers. It’s easy enough for the rest of us to migrate to the online services of TV news networks (and A List blogs which are no longer blogs in the 2004 sense) – TV news channels (mostly) not being in the business of charging to watch content anyway. Indeed, they’d probably welcome the opportunity to get a bigger slice of the online pie.
Good point. Newspapers and blogs and television newscasts are all starting to look the same. Blogger Robert Scoble’s posts are filled with video. The New York Times’ site has a news video section. FoxNews.com is filled with articles and columns. If it’s all the same, what matters next is who can fund the content.
When your product is free, you need money from somewhere else
TV remains the cash king. The average U.S. consumer watches 5 hours and 9 minutes of live TV a day, taking in just over 1 hour of paid sponsorships. This in turn gives broadcast and cable TV about $75 billion in advertising in the U.S. — a lot of money to cross subsidize online free content. The irony of our intellectual user-generated-content age is that passive couch potatoes may fund the revolution.
Photo: Rock Creek