Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Newspapers Aren't Dying, Advertising Models Are

Francine Hardaway writes:

Like job opportunities in a downturn, advertising never goes away entirely, but it does shrink. If you're a business with advertising as a business model, the only thing you can do now is lower your rates, cut your burn, wait, and try to predict when pent-up consumer demand, driven by demographics, will cause it to come back.If you are an advertiser, you spend your scarce dollars where you think they will give you the best return.

And that's what's happening to newspapers. You can talk all you want about how news is shifting online, how young people don't read, how bureaus are shutting down, how great reporting is dying. The fact of the matter is, it has never been about news. It has always been about advertising. Where will people tolerate advertising? Where will they hear it or look at it? It's a constant battle between the consumer's distaste for interruption and the need to sell products.

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