Monday, January 27, 2014

Advertising and old media

We stressed last week the fact that in the US, good journalists like Ezra Klein from the Post are willing to live the old industry and its Wonkblog to work with pure players, The Vox in the case of Klein.

The sad story of print advertising can only comfort these changes. Look for instance at the French regional newspapers. In 2013 their global advertising income went down by 6.3%.  It is the third year of decrease and 2014 doesn't look much better. It is a fact that the national income of web advertising for the same papers went up by 28% but it is still far from making for the heavy losses on print.

To day Wan IFRA delivered a fascinating study on classified ads (Wan-IFRA Classifieds Report). It shows through the success story of Schibsted the Norwegian press group that decided to move to the Web 15 years ago that old media and Internet don't work together so well. Why did Schibsted succeed? It is because its ads websites Finn and Bloket worked independently from the papers and even competed very successfully with them. Now Classifieds such as Leboncoin in France make most of the income and profits of Schibsted as newspapers keep declining.

So what is the solution? Pure players are best positioned to conquer markets in news and classifieds and move to the mobiles. If they are connected to a print media, they must keep their own strategy and recruit their own people. One needs new talents for the new field of journalism and advertising.