Monday, August 28, 2006

The Economist examines the newspaper industry

More media, less news

Newspapers are making progress with the internet, but most are still too timid, defensive or high-minded.

That sounds a tad too familiar.

And here‘s why newspapers are so toast:

Three-quarters of traffic to the websites for Schibsted's VG and Aftonbladet comes through their own home-pages and only a quarter from other websites. “If visitors come from Google to stories deep in the paper and then leave,” explains Mr Munck, “Google gets the dollars and we get only cents, but if we can bring them in through the front page we can charge €19,000 [$25,000] for a 24-hour banner ad.” In spite of this, most newspapers still depend on news aggregators.

Three-quarters of their readers enter through their homepage? Does that tell you anything about the demographics of their readers? Yikes. The number of people entering sites through homepages is in a steep free fall. If your future depends on loyal readers who visit daily to browse…then you don‘t have a future.

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