Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, July 14, 2021

Here’s a handy media metric, as culled from a sour-looking 2006 Q2 newspaper industry outlook:

“We’ve estimated that it takes 50 to 100 online readers to attract the same amount of revenue that one print reader does,” [Borrell Associates newspaper analyst Colby Atwood] said. “That also reflects a lag in advertisers’ behavior relative to the audience’s behavior. The audience has moved to the Web, but advertisers are following more slowly.”

That’s the size of it: A single offline reader is worth several multiples more than a Web media consumer. Thus, that’s where the dollars are directed, and that’s who both publishers and advertisers are going to focus on.

It’s not hard to figure out why. Someone who takes the time to pick up a hard copy publication is presumed to be more focused on the reading material on-hand (note, whether or not they paid for that copy or else picked up a freebie is irrelevant); their attention is probably undivided. By contrast, Web content is considered more disposable, and thus commands less mental engagement from its audience. Advertising and marketing messages find less-fertile ground online, multimedia capabilities notwithstanding. So they funnel their money where it’ll have the greatest impact.

Smug Net-heads who’ve avoided newsprint ink for years now might scoff and say, “All the better!”, thinking that their media consumption pattern insultates them from marketing exposure. Not really. They’re still feeling the effect, in terms of how news stories are presented and delivered. Simply put, ads pay the bills, and what attracts ad buyers is going to influence how the content is created and shot out (not the core of the content — news is news).

In effect, print readers form a vanguard minority that shapes news coverage. Continued migration online will eventually tip this, but for now, the offline crowd carries the influence.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 07/14/2006 06:17:27 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Internet, Publishing
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unscrambledI’ve stumbled upon an answer to my question about the appearance of a golden-egg image amongst my AdSense text ads a couple of weeks ago (pictured here).

Apparently, Google had been experimenting with this hybrid image/text presentation, perhaps to test the click-through effectiveness of such juxtaposition. The image itself is not an ad; rather, it’s a fancied-up link unit. So clicking on the image will send the user to a page full of related ads.

I know Google is really pushing the link units. I got a rare email from AdSense recently, urging me to implement them. I don’t plan to. I can see why they perform so well — they blend in so unobtrusively that I’m sure they generate plenty of action just on accidental click-throughs. But to me, they seem to cross the line in terms of the editorial/advertising divide. I’d rather not go there. But if Google wants to slip them in anyway, in the traditional text ad banners, then so be it. It takes the decision out of my hands.

I haven’t seen an instance of this crop up since I wrote that earlier post. Doesn’t mean it’s not showing up on this site, but I’ve been blind to it.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 07/14/2006 11:00:55 AM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Bloggin'
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Does MarketWatch’s Frank Barnako have a sweet deal, or what? Witness: His weekly column for MW is nothing more than a text/feed output of his blog posts.

I presume he’s being paid for this. So he basically blogging for his paycheck. Plus he’s getting a good amount of traffic flowing his way for it. Not a bad gig.

Hey, if anyone’s looking for an unfocused, eclectic pile of blog content to fill up some online publication’s space, just give me a holler. Reasonable rates available!

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 07/14/2006 08:10:23 AM
Category: Bloggin', Publishing
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