Does a change in journalism mean a change in advertising too?

My last post focused heavily on the advertising tactics by Facebook, but it opened my eyes to the change of advertising in all news sources. While there is a shift from print to online publications, the form of advertising has to be reevaluated.

Advertising has always been a crucial component in newspapers and magazines. But will the shift to the online world include traditional advertising?

A study conducted at Penn State measured the memory associated with advertisements of the print media vs. online media. The study shows that there were significant differences on ad recollection, but very little difference in content recognition. Good news for journalists, people still read your articles, bad news for advertisers, they ain’t workin’. The study suggests advertisements need to also change with the change of medium. The ads must be more significant to catch the readers’ attention. One way is by animation instead of a still image.

The issue still remains. Are there other ways that are as significant as advertising for online media to gain revenue? Multiple news sources have begun to charge for online viewing or subscriptions. Though this can boost profit, it can also deter the readers. Wired Editor, Chris Anderson, acknowledges this issue. He states that people are being trained to try for content on the Internet for free, but they must pay for what they value. This is important to state because people tend to be more willing to pay for quality rather than get O-K, irrelevant stories for free. So how can we find balance?

That’s where the idea of differentiated sustainable revenue streams comes in. This simply means that there is revenue coming from multiple locations. There can be revenue from the classic, print media and ads, online ads, subscriptions, lead-generation revenue and more.

Dan Blank continues to acknowledge the technicalities, but brings up a very good point.

 “Focusing on critical needs and passion of your customers and target audience.”

If that is the ultimate focus of a news source, then the quality of the content will be profound and there will be no competition. If we give the readers what the want, they will pay, and they will continue to pay. That way, everyone wins.

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