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3D Advertising in Newspaper’s Classifieds Section

3D Classifieds Advertising

From Adweek:

Innovative newspaper ads are a rare beast…. Here’s an interesting one from Colombia. It’s an ad for kitchens hidden inside a fake classifieds page — thanks to a nifty 3-D effect applied to the text. “The kitchen you are imagining is in HiperCentro Corona,” says the headline.

Pretty excellent, I say.

Newspaper Ad Revenues in the Google Era

Newspaper Ad Revenues Since 2001

A chart created by Alan D. Mutter that plots US newspaper ad revenues against Google’s revenues (almost all of which are advertising). Note: Google numbers are global, while the newspaper numbers are US only. Google’s US revenues are closer to $16 billion.

From PaidContent:

The speed with which billions of dollars in advertising revenue simply evaporated over the past decade is incredible: as [economics professor Mark Perry] notes, after adjusting the figures for inflation, total print ad spending last year of about $19 billion was below the level set in 1950. It took 50 years — a generation, in other words — for ad revenue to go from $20 billion to a peak of $65 billion in 2000, but it only took 12 years for that progress to be erased.

Cruiseline Ads Next to Capsized Cruiseliner

For the Awkward Adjacency file: Swedish newspaper Angermanlanningen runs cruiseliner ads next to an article and photo of the recently capsized Costa Concordia. More at Copy Ranter. (I found it via @ToddWasserman.)

A Reverse Pay Meter for Online Newspapers, A Pricing Model That’s More Like Everything Else We Buy

Jeff Jarvis at Buzz Machine considers the upside-down logic of paywalls at online newspapers, where low-value readers get their content for free while loyal, engaged readers are required to pay. Instead Jarvis proposes that newspapers build the opposite — a system of credits that rewards readers for actions that show loyalty (and benefit) the publication, such as sharing stories across social media, looking at ads, reading more articles (which generates more ad inventory), and sharing data about yourself that enables the paper to charge higher advertising rates.

You can’t argue with his logic. Every other time we dole out money for something, we pay more when we get more. You want more features with your car? You want a faster processor in your laptop? No problem, just reach a little deeper into your wallet.

The problem, says Jarvis, is this:

Now I’ll tell you why my reverse meter won’t work: When I spoke with all our journalism students at CUNY about their business ideas on Friday, I asked how many had hit the Times pay wall — many — and how many had paid — few. Abundance remains the enemy of payment. There’s always someplace else to get the news.

That’s a lame excuse, though. With their illogical paywalls, newspaper publishers seems to acknowledge Jarvis’s point: Most of what they create is a commodity, yet they whine that consumers won’t pay for for it. Back in the good old pre-Internet days, when the dynamics of print-newsspaper distribution meant that consumers had to pick among the two or three papers, publishers could get away with charging for undifferentiated products.

Now that that’s changed, why not abandon (or license) all the common content and focus resources on what each paper can do uniquely well? Two good things will happen. One, publishers will stand a better chance of selling subscriptions if they create something readers can’t get anywhere else. Two, the expenses associated with making all the undifferentiated, overabundant stuff will go away, so the ad model stands a much better chance of covering costs.

The Cost of Overpriced Rates for Newspaper Advertising

Chart from Comscore research published in June 2010.

I came across the above in a Clickz article on Mashable that argues the newspapers are killing themselves by charging unreasonably high ad rates. According to the Comscore data, newspapers charge three times the average CPM for online display banners. And print newspapers (at least back in 2008) charge three times the rate of broadcast TV ads running in primetime.

Lulled into complacency by decades (if not centuries) of dominating the advertising industry, they’ve failed to recognize that when it comes to advertiser value, they’ve long since fallen from the top spot. The advantages they once had based on geographic exclusivity, readership, and exclusive content have been eliminated by the rise of the web.

The article’s author, Sean Carton, also suggests that the quality of most newspapers has declined to the point that subscription paywalls feel like an insult. He liked reading the Baltimore Sun’s food blogs (ironically, the content that’s least expensive for the paper to create), especially the reader comments on those blogs (even more ironically, the content that costs the paper nothing), but after visiting for the 15th time this month, he was asked to pay for a subscription, so he went elsewhere.

Flipping through the Hartford Courant this morning at my mother-in-law’s, I was literally unable to find a single article of interest or general news-worthiness (except for a recap of UConn basketball game, which I can acknowledge is more interesting to most people than it is it me), so I ended up reading the back of the cereal box. As much as I love — in theory — local newspapers, it’s shocking that anyone is still paying for their print editions, let alone for the right to visit their websites.

Does this Newspaper Make Me Look Fat?

The Newspaper Association of America has launched a new ad campaign with the tagline “Smart is the New Sexy.”

Nice tagline. But since when does reading news online or getting it from a television news source make you less smart? And the punchline of the ad — “Because a little depth looks great on you” — makes me think newspaper reading might thicken my love handles.

NYT TV Spot Pitches Paid Model

Is This Billboard Promoting News Radio or the Internet?

Billboard yesterdays news

This billboard on La Cienga Boulevard in LA caught my attention. Maybe it was the retro mustache and pipe? There’s certainly nothing new about poking newspapers for printing yesterday’s news — the snarkarati have been doing that since the first intrepid browsers found their way to the Internet 15 years ago. But why, all of a sudden, is a talk radio station picking on newspapers? Hasn’t radio offered live news reports for nearly a century? Are there still people out there that don’t know about live news radio??

The iPad Might Save Newspapers, But Salvation Will Be Expensive

NYT iPad app

From the Merc News:

“Roger Fidler, head of digital publishing at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute in Columbia, Mo., said Apple probably will take a 30 percent cut of all subscriptions sold through the company’s online App Store, and as much as 40 percent of the advertising revenue from publications’ apps.”

Wait, can I change the above headline? It sounded expensive when I first read the article, and then I thought about it. Take a look at the budgets of print and online magazines: The big costs are sales, marketing, collections, IT, paper and printing, etc. The editorial function usually represents less than a quarter of the total expense budget. Same is true for newspapers. Outsourcing 75% of the costs in exchange for 30-40% of the revenues — that has to increase profitability, right?

As I write this, I’m looking out the window at a crane that’s installing a cellphone tower on our roof. Our newest rent-paying neighbor is moving in upstairs. Digg (like Verizon or Sprint, as of today) leases space from the SF Bay Guardian, a free ad-supported weekly paper that is, I gather, very eager to find any new channels to increased profitability.

Web May Be Killing Newspapers, But Not News Reading

Time Spent Reading News via Pew

From a recent Pew report, Americans Spending More Time Following the News. The report’s title captures two things at once. One, time spent reading news is not falling; in fact it’s up from 2000. Two, it suggests the old model (subscribing, bookmarking) is being replaced by a new paradigm (following, friending).