As the digital content landscape continues to shift, slide and morph, traditional newspapers are feeling the effects more than others. According to Adage.com:
Newspapers’ share of digital ad revenue has fallen from 16.2% in 2005
to 11.4% last year and is heading for 7.9% in 2014, according to the
new entertainment and media outlook from PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The picture in dollar terms isn’t much prettier. With the worst of the
recession apparently behind us, some newspapers are already selling more
digital ads again. But it’s going to be a couple more years before
newspapers as a whole start increasing their digital revenue, according
to PricewaterhouseCoopers. And their digital total in 2014 will still
fall 16.3% short of its level in 2007, the pre-recession peak.
This is digital advertising, remember, where growth is supposed to come
quickly. Digital’s overall total in 2014 will crush its 2007 level by
The unfortunate fact is, overheads are killing the news industry as new more skeletal structures are out competing them by producing more content for cheaper. Traditional news just isn’t profitable – not that there is anything wrong with that, but it is down to the industry to get creative on how it funds proper journalism. There are a number of options including pay walls (not necessarily such a bad thing from the perspective of a struggling journalist), voluntary subscription payments and partnerships with merchant sites.
It isn’t all gloom and doom, but it still isn’t great for anyone looking to have a serious career in traditional journalism.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.