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As their online ad share narrows, newspapers must differentiate themselves

As their online ad share narrows, newspapers must differentiate themselves

Although U.S. newspapers are widely read online, reaching more than a third of Web users, their' overall share of the Internet ad market is being eroded by the endless amount of competition from online-only news outlets. This trend is expect to continue; however, newspapers should move quickly now to maximise their audience reach before the numbers continue to worsen, Nat Ives explained in an article for AdAge today, interpreting the latest data from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

And despite newspapers' huge reach online, their share of digital ad revenue in the United States has dropped from 16.2 percent in 2005, to 11.4 percent in 2009. By 2014, that number is expected to drop to 7.9 percent, according to PwC data. Meanwhile, overall digital advertising in 2014 will be 56.6 percent larger than it was in 2007.

So what can newspapers do to maximise themselves online, even while their share of the online advertising pie continues to shrink? Ives offers some advice:

1. Stand out. As firms like Yahoo add to staffers to their original news and blogs, newspapers are cutting reporters, "thinning the distinction between their products and those of their rivals. Advertisers also seem to see a diminishing difference. The gap between newspapers' high ad rates online and other news sites' prices is apparently shrinking."

2. Partner for quality content. Huge cuts in the newsrooms means less quality, so working with firms like non-profit ProPublica, or The New York Times' partnership with the Chicago News Cooperative for local, different content, can add quality.

3. Partner with local aggregators. Newspapers have always been the best at giving readers the best local information. Today, local aggregators have area announcements, crime data and more. Examples include The Boston Globe partnering with YourTown; the Chicago Tribune partnering with, and more.


Leah McBride Mensching


2010-06-28 19:25

Shaping the Future of the News Publishing

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