According to the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, once you've opened your mind to something, you begin to see it everywhere, or something like that. Well what has been happening to me lately about newspapers is similar, but not quite the same, I just can't seem to find what you might call this phenomenon, but I keep coming across articles that collectively paint a pretty shitty picture for newspapers. Some might call it the "law of attraction", but that, my friends, is way out of my league.
According to a new report by eMarketer, there are three converging trends that may provide some hope for newspapers, that is if they can stay in business long enough for the trends to actually converge. The first two trends explain all of the layoffs I recently told you about.
- Although two-thirds of Internet users surveyed in July 2008 said they still used print newspapers about as much as they did before they started visiting news sites, more than one-quarter said they were reading print less as a result, and that figure has grown during the past 5 years.
- Advertisers spent about 7% less last year with newspapers, at the same time that Internet ad spending saw healthy growth.
The bad news is that this spending will not make up for print ad losses for some time, according to Lisa Phillips, senior analyst at eMarketer. Ms. Phillips noted that advertisers still pay more for print readers than for online readers. "This is a transition that will take several years," she said. "Local advertisers are paying attention to the shift in reader behavior, but it will take a while for everyone to adjust.So the big question becomes: "Can newspapers stay in print until the new online ad spending catches up with the steady flow of blood (red)?" Regardless, one thing should be clear, as the Internet has gutted many other brick and mortar businesses, if newspapers do survive, they will have to become lean mean news machines; that is, until the Internet takes the eventual crown as the leading advertising destination for marketers.
Oh yeah, by the way, here's a damn interesting article about the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon.