New York Times Ad Sales Plummet

Ad revenue for the NYT dropped an amazing 31.7% in the last quarter. This tells me two things:
1. Confidence in advertising is at an all time low. If people believed in advertising then even in these relatively depressed times, ad sales at the NYT should hold up relatively well. They haven’t, so they mustn’t.
2. People are turning to other platforms for advertising and to other forms of marketing. From what I’ve seen, few marketing budgets are being cut by over 30%. Indeed a 10% cut seems about normal year on year. So where are the dollars going? Given the NYT results are meant to include their web properties, it would suggest that the dollars must be going to other properties and other forms of marketing.
Last week I also noted a study that said only 3.5% of major news stories started life in the blogosphere. Indeed the coverage of the story (in the NYT) suggested that the blogosphere had been over hyped. My read was that I was actually impressed that from a standing start blogs had made this much impact on news. It suggested to me that within five years, we could easily see that metric rise to 10% and from there to a sizable minority.
Connecting these two news items may not be obvious but to me it demonstrates the pace of change in the media industry away from traditional news outlets. This endorses the view of many of us in PR that we must a) be investing in digital communications and b) we should be helping our clients understand the shift that is taking place.
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