Thursday, April 14, 2011

Online ad revenues rebound

Online advertising revenue, after a down year in 2009, rebounded sharply in 2010, according to Online Media Daily. I guess I'm an online advertising Luddite since I don't even notice it, much less let it affect any of my purchases.

And purchases are what's driving the advertising. Retail leads the pack, according to the report, and search advertising is where the action is. After retail's 21% chunk came "telecom (13%), financial services (12%), automotive (11%), and technology (8%)."

The report went on: "The 15% growth in Internet spending outstripped other media segments last year including cable TV (14%), network TV (6%), Spot TV (3.4%), national magazines (4%) and local newspapers (down 2%)."

ESPN announces endorsement guidelines

The best part of following the media these days is watching all the changes, and how they are playing out. For example, who would have thought that a sports network would need to rethink its policies on endorsements (who would have thought about network endorsements at all?)?

But that's what ESPN has done. Now it's new endorsement guidelines say the network will publicly reveal all endorsements by ESPN commentators. I'm still looking for someone who wants to pay a college teacher/blogger to endorse their product. My guidelines call for publicly announcing anytime I grab the money and run.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Social media drives quality journalism? Or is it quality journalism drives social media?

Some really interesting ideas in a new study that concludes that social media drives quality journalism. There are several reasons, especially that we use quality journalism to show that we are serious people (at least in our social media). Fascinating.

Social media to the rescue

An overheard comment this morning:

Man: The Journal Sentinel really buried the story about about questionable voting totals in Waukesha County (97 percent in one election; Australia, where voting is mandatory, only gets 95 percent). It's on a blog.

Woman: Social media is all over it.

That would alarm me if I were running the Journal Sentinel.

The ever-shrinking Newsweek

Newsweek has only six ads (plus a promotional one for its owner) in the current edition. It's the only newsweekly to have lost advertising in the first quarter of this year. The magazine has made so many mistakes over the years that it'd take too long to list them. They may well be fatal.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Social media plays growing role in disburbances

Social media is playing an increasing role in domestic disturbances here as well as overseas. But, of course, there's a lot more discord overseas so that's where to look to gauge its impact.

The BBC offers a story today not only gauging social media's impact, but offering some times on how it's being used. Not at all what we expected.

NY Times paywall cuts into visits

Going behind the paywall has cost the New York Times up to 15 percent of its online viewers, according to Paid Content.

The Times expected a drop, but that it would be minimal since viewers would get their first 20 articles free. But the study -- of the first 12 days' experience -- showed that page visits were off 5 to 15 percent.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Add greed to media management stupidity

I've felt for quite a while that a big part of media money problems stems from management stupidity. It wasn't the rank and file that sat back as their viewer/reader base dwindled. It wasn't the copyeditors and reporters who first put news online free. It wasn't the office secretaries who cut the size and quality of news products to the bone.

But it was the rank and file, the copyeditors and reporters and office secretaries who were laid off by the thousands, watched their pay drop and futures mortgaged.

Now comes word that Gannett is facing all staff to take unpaid furlough weeks this year -- but executive bonuses make up for their unpaid furlough weeks. Add greed to stupidity. Gannett, of course, is not alone. How much was that retention bonus Journal Communications paid its CEO a couple of years ago after watching its stock lose 75% of its value?

Strike that tweet!

Showing that even unions (that most despised word in our governor's vocabulary) can adapt to new media, Eric Sass is reporting today that the News Media Guild is urging Associated Press reporters to stop tweeting or posting on Facebook in protest of lack of progress in getting a new contract.

They can keep up social contact, but not use new media to promote their AP stories. It's an interesting concept, and one that bears watching.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

New v. Old Media battle continues. Great fun

Whooo boy! I think we're really into one of those great media feuds with both sides hardening their positions and no end in sight. It's the seemingly-neverending new media versus old media debate but the battlelines are growing sharper.

Today's version comes from John McQuaid writing in the Huffington Post. He sums up the flap started by Jeff Bercovici writing about the Internet reports of the Quran burning, and he extends the discussion into the whole role of aggragators -- like Huffington Post.

What may be more fun, even is somewhat less enlightening, is a listing in New York magazine's online site of the Twitter battle between Bercovici and two other writers he's attacked: Jeff Jarvis and Jay Rosen. (Note: profanity used here.)

Frankly, Bercovici's central premise attributing the report to a student without direction was wrong. The student posted at the request of an old media news agency on that agency with, presumably, editing. But the point about crowdsourcing and ethical considerations is worth making. Anybody can start a blog or a website. It can operate without any ethical consideration at all. This has always been true in old media (go to a bookstore and look at the "current affairs" section or watch Glenn Beck or Keith Olbermann or the Sunday morning political shows for totally unsupported, outrageous if not fully false claims), but the Internet allows faster and wider consumption of that drek, so the current discussion is worth following.