There’s been a lot of discussion in the business world about the New York Times’ 3rd quarter losses. The media giant remains a powerhouse in the American news industry, yet its print circulation and associated advertising revenues continue to decline. Many commentators are focusing primarily on the negative aspects of this headline, but they’re missing the glimmer of hope within the subtext: the NYT Company’s online advertising revenue increased by 15% during that time period. According to the available data, the boost can be attributed to a rise in so-called display advertising as opposed to the CPC variety.
With this information in mind, it would seem appropriate for them to make a big announcement, especially since they’ve been steadily losing ground for several years. As the saying goes, out of every crisis comes an opportunity. In this case, the NYTs could shrug off these figures and use them as motivation to revitalize an online only branding campaign. They’re clearly not making any money off of their print edition because, NEWS FLASH, print media is officially on life support. Some may even argue that it’s already flat lined.
This doesn’t mean that books or magazines will cease to exist in the next couple of years. There will probably always be a market for physical copies of novels and scholarly journals, for example. But breaking news is an entirely different animal. Today’s consumers expect instantaneous reports that printed newspapers simply cannot provide. Television news broadcasts have a difficult time trying to keep up with latest stories. By the time the morning paper comes out, nearly all of its content feels like, well, yesterday’s news.
But instead of taking cues from the online advertising revenues, NYTs Company CEO Janet Robinson again voiced their commitment to keep hope alive for the print edition. At least their publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, acknowledged that the end is near last month. Apparently Robinson isn’t ready to accept the reality of the situation just yet. Until she does, her investors will continue to divert resources into thriving online marketing campaigns. Maybe by next quarter, Robinson will be ready to follow their lead.