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Advertising slump continues
In the UK, the Financial Times reports falling advertising revenues hitting share prices across the media sector. Trinity Mirror fell 28% while other newspaper groups and ITV also saw substantial falls.
To an extent, the strong background economy has masked the impact on newspapers of the ongoing migration to online advertising. In a weak economy, as advertisers cut back on display spend and reduce classified advertising unless they can see clear metrics (which favours online), newspapers suffer.
The real risk for newspapers is that once we get through this slump the behaviour of a whole generation of media buyers (who tend to be young, hence with little institutional memory) will have been permanently shifted to online.
As one unnamed analyst put it in the FT, the risk is “that when you come out the other side of the downturn, a lot of that revenue will have disappeared forever online.”
And that will be good news for those of us betting on an advertising-funded online future.