N.Y. Times is now supported by readers, not advertisers

The New York Times Is Now Supported by Readers, Not Advertisers

At the company’s big three papers — the New York TimesInternational Herald Tribune, and Boston Globe — print and digital ad dollars dipped 6.6 percent to $220 million, while circulation revenue was up 8.3 percent to $233 million. The historical rebalancing may indicate a sea change in an industry that has long relied on advertising to stay afloat.

 

An interesting fact all by itself. Sending my mind along multiple future paths for the newspaper. Will readership shrink as it goes from free to paid? Can it still be the paper of record if it’s behind a paywall? Are they just forcing freeloading readers to go elsewhere?

It did send me to the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, and, ironically, to social media for alternate news sources.

Though, I do have a bone to pick with one of the closing statements in the article, “…no longer depend on ad revenue, but must rely more than ever on the whims of the customer.”

I would have thought being free of advertisers to be a positive move. Is this a ‘thing’ in the newspaper industry that readers are so whimsical?

And, why does the New York media always have to insult its readers?

 

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YouTube is dropping in monthly views – but gaining in “engagement”

YouTube is getting smaller in a metric that used to mean everything: views.

Since December, views on YouTube have dropped 28%, and March views are only slightly above what they were a year ago, startling for a site accustomed to breakneck growth.

It’s an intended consequence of the Google-owned site’s shift from…snack-size content to a full-fledged, couch-potato-optimized entertainment destination. At YouTube, the “view” is out and “engagement” is in.

YouTube’s focus has shifted from directing viewers to videos of skateboarding dogs to enticing them into longer, more engaging videos—the kind that are, not incidentally, more appealing to advertisers.

On March 15, YouTube altered its recommendation system to make the time spent with a video or channel a stronger indicator than a click.

“Our goal is we want users to watch more and click less”

It appears to be working. While views have dropped of late, the amount of minutes users spend watching YouTube has grown over the past year by 57%. The average length of a video view has grown a full minute to four minutes in the past year.

via AdAge

 


 
// Photo – Mark Sebastian

Hulu participates in TV’s upfronts – internet television has finally arrived

Just a few years ago Hulu, the online television site, was something of a novelty. A lot of people knew about it and watched it, but it was just another website. That all changes this week as Hulu participates in “upfronts”.

Hulu is in this position because of some staggering numbers:

  • Revenue of $420 million in 2011 (compared to $263 million in 2010)
  • 38 million visitors/month
  • 1.5 billion video ads shown to viewers in February
  • 2 million subscribers for their $8/month service

This all adds up to a gamechanger for the industry. The studio heads who originally created Hulu want to kill it, or at least sell it. They know that it’s taking away viewers from traditional television and offering better advertising:

“On a one-to-one basis, advertising placed on Hulu for our clients was more effective than advertising placed on television for the same programming,” said Steven J. Farella, chief executive at TargetCast TCM.

Additionally, Hulu collects vastly more data on viewers and can offer ads specifically targeted to them.

“Stoking envy among traditional television executives, the Web site collects a trove of data on its users’ preferences in programming and ads.”

At this point, it’s too late for the studios sell or kill it, though they did try all last year. Instead, they are inviting it to the table to see if it can compete on its own. Which means participating in the full cycle of television from pilot episodes, to full series, and selling all that to advertisers.

The most critical point being the “upfronts”:

At a presentation on Thursday in New York, Hulu, will pitch advertisers on original programming in an annual ritual known as upfronts that are typically reserved for cable channels and network broadcasters.

Hulu executives are expected to take the stage to sell advertisers on new series. The executives will also promote the service’s desirable demographic of young viewers who turn to Hulu for popular network sitcoms like “New Girl” and “Family Guy,” available only after they are broadcast on Fox.

So, like Netflix, Hulu is making a push into original series. It has also licensed 13 television shows that will appear exclusively online.

Traditional television is still the dominant game in town, but Hulu and Netflix are at the table now, and they have the internet on their side. With offerings like on-demand, full series at once, mobility, fewer commercials, and lower prices, you can expect all of this to quickly change the balance of power.

 

read more about upfronts at the NY Times