The Future of Print

SpotMixer and Google Pair to Offer Self-Serve Online Video Ads

Posted in Doom by futureofprint on August 31, 2009

One True Media’s SpotMixer do-it-yourself online video ad technology is now available to Google AdWords in-stream video advertisers, an arrangement that allows users to make videos that can run over the Google Content Network or on YouTube.

The partnership with Google is not the first for Redwood City, Ca.-based One True Media, a company founded four years ago. The company partnered with Google TV Ads in January. its SpotMixer platform automatically grabs text from AdWords ads and inserts it into tailored 15- to 30-second-long video ads within the user’s AdWords account. Users can customize the videos by adding photos, video, and voiceovers. The conversions are done dynamically, with templates and content being changed to avoid identical videos.

There are many vendors offering similar self-serve video platforms, including Jivox and FourSpots. Google also already offers an ad creation marketplace that pairs online video producers such as Turn Here with advertisers.

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Newspapers Slow To Exploit Digital

Posted in Doom by futureofprint on August 31, 2009

“The news industry has so far failed to make the digital transition,” is the blunt synopsis offered by veteran industry analyst Ken Doctor in a new report from Outsell, Inc., titled “Top 15 U.S. New Companies Print-to-Digital Market Size and Share.” Reviewing the last few years, Doctor — a former newspaperman and close follower of the ailing medium — finds little but disappointment in the efforts of newspaper publishers to build online revenues.

According to Doctor, newspapers earned just 11% of their total revenues from digital sources in 2008, including both advertising and circulation revenues. The best performers in this regard, the Washington Post Co. and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., still had fairly low proportions of online revenue in the total mix (15% and 14%, respectively).

Here there is a yawning divide between newspapers and other sectors of the information industry, like technical and medical publishing. While the proportion of news revenues derived from digital sources grew from 7.2% in 2006 to 11% in 2008, the rest of the information industry (excluding news providers) grew from 65.3% to 70.2%. In other words, those other sectors had already substantially completed their transition from print to digital revenues in 2006 — but newspapers have scarcely begun theirs.

via MediaPost Publications Outsell: Newspapers Slow To Exploit Digital 08/27/2009.

MediaPost Publications Ink Stains: Newspaper Revenues Down 29% 08/28/2009

Posted in Doom by futureofprint on August 31, 2009

Newspaper revenues fell by almost one-third in the second quarter of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, from $10.1 billion to $6.8 billion, according to the Newspaper Association of America.

The overall decline of 29% resulted from a 30% drop in print revenues — from $9.3 billion to just under $6.2 billion — and a 16% drop in online revenues, from $778 million to $653 million.

As in previous quarters, the losses cut across every major advertising category, with national dropping 30% from $1.6 billion to $1.1 billion, retail dropping 25% from $4.7 billion to $3.6 billion, and classifieds down a whopping 40% from $2.5 billion to $1.4 billion.

The continuing collapse of classified revenues is especially bad news, as they were long the mainstay of newspaper ad revenues.

In the second quarter, automotive classifieds tumbled 43% to $332 million, real estate fell 46% to $336 million, and recruitment plunged an alarming 66% to $202 million.

Newspaper slump deepens as 2Q ad sales fall 29 pct – Yahoo! Finance

Posted in Doom by futureofprint on August 27, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO AP — Newspapers’ financial woes worsened in the second quarter as advertising sales shrank by 29 percent, leaving publishers with $2.8 billion less revenue than they had at the same time last year.It’s the deepest downturn yet during a three-year free fall in advertising revenue — newspapers’ main source of income. The magnitude of the industry’s advertising losses have intensified in each of the last 12 quarters.

The latest turbulence left U.S. newspapers with ad sales of $6.8 billion in this year’s second quarter compared to $9.6 billion last year.

Through the first half of the year, newspaper ad revenue plunged 29 percent to $13.4 billion.

Transforming American Newspapers Part 1. Rebuilding Media: The fate of media

Posted in Uncategorized by futureofprint on August 27, 2009

Last month, Goldman Sachs equity analyst Peter Appert put it more bluntly in a Reuters in a story about the dwindling number of equity analysts who still covering the deterioration of this $40 billion industry:

“If I covered only the newspaper industry, first of all I would have been fired a long time ago; secondly, I would have had to kill myself.”

Among the largest American newspaper companies, the losses of equity have been titanic. On the August day in when I write this, stock in the Journal Register Company is trading for less than four pennies per share, down from $3.25 a year ago, a loss of 99 percent. Any of the buildings housing any of its 22 daily newspapers is worth more than the company’s current stock market capitalization currently $1.4 million. Journal Register reports that it has $77 million in assets, $719 million in liabilities, and lost $102 million last year. Standard & Poor’s, which downgraded its rating of Journal Register’s stock to junk, has now withdrawn any rating of it. Meanwhile, stock in Gatehouse Media, which publishes 97 dailies, is trading at 57 pennies per share, down from $22.00 two years ago, a 97 percent loss. That company faces delisting by the New York Stock Exchange and the equity research firm Morningstar this week declared its stock to be essentially worthless, valuing the fair price as zero.

Meanwhile, stock in the McClatchy Company, which publishers 30 dailies, has dropped from $74.30 three years ago to $3.78, a 95 percent loss. Stock in Lee Enterprises, which publishes 51 dailies, has dropped from $48.57 to $3.83, a 92 percent loss during the past four years. Media General, which publishes 25 dailies, has seen its stock price drop 83 percent in the past four years. Stock of The New York Times Company, which publishes 17 dailies, has dropped 75 percent during the past six years, from $51.50 to $12.98. Stock in Gannett Company, which publishes 85 dailies, has dropped 65 percent, from $90.14 to $17.40, during the past four years. Despite these results, Morningstar still calls newspapers, “the market’s most overvalued stocks,” according to the newspaper industry trade journal, Editor & Publisher.

Can Anyone Actually Tap the $100 Billion Potential of Hyperlocal News? | Fast Company

Posted in Boom by futureofprint on August 19, 2009

Hyperlocal sites — covering cities, towns, or just a neighborhood — can deliver precision-targeted advertising to local and global businesses. As the once-exponential growth rate for most Internet advertising in the United States grinds to a halt, the online local-advertising market is projected to grow 5.4% in 2009 to $13.3 billion, according to media research firm Borrell Associates.

Boosters routinely note that more than $100 billion is spent annually on local ads — TV, radio, print, outdoor, direct mail, and online. Although the stat’s origins are fuzzy, what’s clear is how aggressively folks believe those ad dollars are migrating to the Web. Borrell Associates projects an online local-ad market worth $15.5 billion by 2013, fueled mostly by small businesses ditching the Yellow Pages and local newspapers.

A Hyperlocal Pyramid

The Times’ executives behind the Local, to their credit, aren’t fooling themselves that they will succeed based solely on advertising — though targeted local and national ads are two parts of the Local’s three-pronged business model. “We’re talking about several hundred thousand dollars a year in personnel costs,” says Jim Schachter, editor of digital initiatives at the paper. “I don’t think the local digital-advertising market anywhere — not Maplewood; not Fort Greene, Brooklyn; not Dubai — would cover those costs.”

The third aspect of the Local’s strategy reveals where the Times sees the most opportunity. If the Local’s test run proves to be successful — meaning that it creates a vibrant content site with an engaged audience — the Times would look to license the Local’s platform to bloggers in other towns as a prepackaged tool kit. “Our hypothesis,” Schachter explains, “is that there is a swath of people — experts of various sorts, journalists, self-trained bloggers — who would want our assistance in professionalizing their work and who would love to be associated with the Times. We could help those people mobilize their communities and gather local-advertising dollars in extremely low-cost ways. That could work, economically, for these local journalism entrepreneurs, and, at scale, it might work for us.”

Internet be damned, newspapers to stop their slide? – InternetNews:The Blog – Kenneth Corbin

Posted in Boom by futureofprint on August 7, 2009

Borrell and Associates, a market research firm based in Williamsburg, Va., that focuses on media and advertising, is forecasting that newspaper revenues from print advertising will not only level off over the next few years, but actually increase.Not all ad revenues print and Web. Just print.

“With news stories of bankruptcies, reduced distribution, and outright closures, it is easy to see why some observers think the newspaper is an endangered medium,” writes Borrell President Colby Atwood. “But amateur pundits often make the error of forecasting with a ruler, extrapolating current trends straight into the ground.

“Borrell looks for the precipitous decline in ad revenues to end this year, projecting that newspapers will post a 2.4 percent increase in print-ad sales next year. By 2014, Borrell estimates that newspaper income will have climbed 8.7 percent from this year’s mark, which it’s pegging at $35.9 billion.

That’s a steep drop-off from the halcyon days of 2001, when newspapers hit their high-water mark of $53.4 billion in print-ad revenues, a point the firm’s CEO Gordon Borrell says the industry will never see again. Borrell convincingly describes his firm’s prediction as a “dead-cat bounce,” but it’s still a hopeful sign for a print medium that is routinely written off as being on life support, a leaky boat, a dinosaur, etc.

What gives the analysts their optimism? Newspapers will reinvent themselves with more of a niche focus, transitioning to something resembling a magazine-style format (longer articles, more graphics, less frequent publication schedule) that caters to a well-educated, high-income demographic, Atwood said.

Also, the industry is hardly a monolith. Borrell notes that the largest 150 or 200 papers, from the New York Times on down, have been hit the hardest by the drop-off in classified and retail advertising. But suburban and community publications have fared considerably better, and Borrell expects that their ad sales are headed into a period of growth as local advertisers look for the “de facto geographical targeting” opportunities those papers afford.

Via Internet News

Six in 10 Consumers Still Rely on Newspaper Ads — Seeking Alpha

Posted in Boom by futureofprint on August 3, 2009

US consumers say they rely on newspaper advertisements more than ads in any other medium when they are planning, shopping and making purchase decisions, according to early results from a study commissioned by the Newspaper Association of America, conducted by MORI Research.Other media, including the internet, trailed newspapers by 20 percentage points as the primary medium for checking advertising, the study found.

The research, part of a series entitled “American Consumer Insights,” also examined the effect newspaper advertising has on consumer shopping and spending patterns. It found that nearly six in 10 adults (59%) identify newspapers as the medium they use to help plan shopping or make purchase decisions.

Among respondents who say they “took action” as a result of newspaper advertising:

  • 61% clipped a coupon
  • 50% bought something
  • 27% tried something for the first time

Data also revealed that 73% of adults regularly or occasionally read newspaper inserts, and 82% have been spurred to action by a newspaper insert in the past month.

Via Seeking Alpha