Posts Tagged ‘Online’

Ease of access more important than accuracy

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

More people rely on the Internet for news, as opposed to print newspapers, but they don’t trust what they read there, a new survey by the the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism’s Digital Future Project.

For the first time, fewer survey respondent – 56 percent – ranked newspapers as  important or very important sources of information for them than those who said the Internet (78 percent) and television (68 percent) were important or very important sources of information. The number for newspapers was down from 60 percent in the school’s 2008 survey.

But, 61 percent of Internet users said less than half of online information is reliable, and 14 percent said that little or none of it is reliable. The latter figure is up from previous years, according to Media Daily News.

Looks like ease of use – the computer, TV or mobile device people are connected to anyway vs. a different copy of the newspaper arriving in the driveway each day – is more important that the information itself.

More than 20 percent of respondents said they would not miss the printed newspaper.

The downward spiral in print newspaper circulation no doubt will be accelerated by  advances in online delivery of news content through e-readers or other handheld electronic devices,” Jeffrey I. Cole, director of  the school’s Center for the Digital Future, said in a statement quoted by Editor & Publisher. “After years of aborted attempts, these advances finally appear to be practical and  affordable methods of providing electronic news content to readers.  If so, what will that mean for  the future of the traditional print newspaper?”

Meanwhile, 70 percent of Internet users said online advertising is “annoying,” and half said they never click on Web ads. But 55 percent said they would rather put up with Web advertising than pay for content.

Online ad spending down but rebounding

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Third-quarter online ad spending in the U.S. was down 5.4 percent from the same period a year ago, but up 1.7 percent from the second quarter, Online Media Daily says, quoting the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“Spending during the first three quarters of 2009 has been roughly flat as the economic downturn keeps digital ad budgets down after recent years of strong gains. While the fourth quarter is expected to bring a seasonal lift, overall online ad revenue is projected to drop for the first time since 2002.”

Online or in print, newspapers still valued

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

A new study from Scarborough Research finds that 74 percent of adults — nearly 171 million — in the United States read a newspaper in print or online during the past week,” Editor & Publisher reports.

This number counters the notion that newspapers no longer impact consumers. ‘Given the fragmentation of media choices, printed newspapers are holding onto their audiences relatively well,’ Gary Meo, Scarborough’s senior vice president of print and digital media services, said in a statement.”

Most Americans see online news as free

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Forty-eight percent of regular Internet users in the United States say they would  pay for online news content, fewer than in other countries. The U.S. number tied with Britain for the lowest figure among nine countries where Boston Consulting commissioned surveys, says The New York Times.

In several Western European countries, more than 60 percent said they would pay.

Americans who would pay say on average they’d pony up $3 a month for online news, also the lowest figure in the study.

“The question is of crucial interest to the American newspaper industry, which is weighing whether and how to put toll gates on its Web sites, to make up for plummeting print advertising,” The Times says.

Newspapers still not ready for online world

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Poynter’s Bill Mitchell previews a new study that says printing and distribution account for “almost half of expenses” at many newspapers, but “few — if any — publishers have a game plan or timeline for transitioning a majority of their print readers to online delivery.” That’s so, they argue, “even though several recent surveys of media usage indicate that readers are re-organizing their lives around the new technology — and leaving print behind.”

The study is by “two leading analysts of media economics,” Penelope Muse Abernathy, who holds the Knight Chair in Digital Media Economics and Journalism at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina, and Richard Foster, a former McKinsey & Company executive who is a now senior faculty fellow at the School of Management at Yale.

They urge traditional news organizations to pursue a three-pronged survival strategy over the next five years:

  • Shedding legacy costs as quickly as possible.
  • Re-creating community online — in an attempt to regain pricing leverage.
  • Building new online advertising revenue streams to replace the loss of traditional print categories.

We like to watch: Online video growing

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Better online video capability is resulting in more video on news sites and in online ads, The New York Times says.

“At a time when other categories of advertising dollars are shrinking, video ads are booming. News sites are adding more video inventory to keep pace with the demands of advertisers, and benefiting from the higher cost-per-thousands, or C.P.M.’s, that ads on those videos command,” The Times says.

“With broadband penetration becoming ubiquitous and more and more sites having this easy capability, people are expecting video to be there,” K. C. Estenson, the general manager of, told the newspaper.

“Among Web sites operated by newspapers, The New York Times, Gannett and Tribune each reach more than a million viewers a month with video streams, comScore says. The home page of The Times sometimes streams live video of events; it carried a news conference Friday about the shootings Thursday at Fort Hood, Texas. …

“Analysts say they expect the flow of online advertising dollars to video to continue. The research firm eMarketer projects 35 to 45 percent growth for the segment for each of the next five years, topping out at $5.2 billion in 2014. (Even then, it would hardly rival search advertising, which is projected to be a $16 billion business.)”

Related: A user-generated video of a first-time mother giving birth that she posted to Gannett’s MomsLikeMe online community resulted in 1.3 million minutes in viewing time and 10 times the normal traffic, Editor & Publisher says, quoting Gannett Digital Media Network. More than 1,000 people commented on the event.

And, we meant to point out a Nielsen Company study that says U.S. television viewing reached an all-time high in the 2008-09 season, with Americans spending an average four hours and 49 minutes a day in front of the television. Nielsen attributes the increase to more TV sets, greater use of digital video recorders and the increase in channels and content to choose from. We thought that perhaps the highest unemployment rate in 26 years may have contributed, as well.

Media General posts 3Q loss

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Media General, the Richmond, Va.-based publisher of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Tampa Tribune, says it lost money in the last three months because of falling ad revenue and a big one-time charge, the Associated Press reports.

Revenue fell 18 percent year-to-year, and CEO Marshall Morton said the “advertising environment in the third quarter remained challenging.” The publisher also claimed a write-down in the value of its assets reduced profits by $84 million.

Print freebie eases sting of online payments

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

As newspaper companies consider how and whether to charge for content online – with hundreds apparently signing up for Steve Brill’s consortium while other publishers dither – a survey in England says nearly half of readers would pay for online news if a free print subscription was thrown into the deal.

“While only 5 percent of people who read a news site at least once a month told us they would pay for online access, when you throw in a free or discounted subscription to the printed paper, that rises to a combined 48 percent,” says The Guardian based on its exclusive paidContent:UK/Harris Interactive poll.

It’s not a majority, but it’s enough for leverage, the newspaper says. “The message is loud and clear – people continue to believe that touchable products command tangible economic value but, divorced from physicality and its associated costs, digital content should manifest itself cheaper.”

N&O cracks E&P’s Top 30 sites

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Even before its redesign (see below) The News & Observer’s Web site was pulling in enough readers to rank 27th on Editor & Publisher’s Top 30 newspaper Web sites for the month of August.

The Nielsen Online list shows with 1.8 million unique visitors in August. This is shown as a 110 percent gain year-over-year, but Nielsen expanded its measurement panel eight-fold in June and cautions that the measurements should only be used directionally.

E&P’s Fitz & Jen blog shows The N&O right behind the Denver Post’s site, which at 1.9 million visitors is also new to the list in the last three months, and ahead of the Arizona Republic’s site, the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and the Kansas City Star’s site, a fellow McClatchy property.

McClatchy’s Miami Herald site ranks 17th on the list with 2.5 million visitors.

The New York Times site tops the list with 17.1 million unique visitors, followed by the Washington Post site with  11.6 million unique visitors.

N&O’s new site easy once they show you how

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

The News & Observer’s newly designed Web site debuts today, with the paper and the site itself touting it as easier to use. Yet, as a friend said, “It was a bit puzzling to see that The N&O had to include a video to explain to readers that the new Web site was much more reader-friendly.”

The redesign includes “one cool feature,” an index tab (at upper right); the ability to customize the categories of news that show up in the news grid on the lower half of the page; revolving “featured stories” at the top of the home page; and additional navigation tabs.

Wednesday morning, the home page also featured a lot of empty space.