According to DIRECTnewsline's online newsletter, online advertising on newspaper webs sites increased to 18.8% or $3.2 billion in 2007. It was the thirteenth consecutive quarter for an increase in online newspaper advertising.
The flip side is that print advertising dropped over 2 billion dollars for the same periods. So what does that mean to the consumer or to those working in or with advertising? It could indicate that Internet usage is up by all age groups. It must mean that those advertising in the online newspapers must be seeing a return on their investment. On the green side of life, it could mean that there is less paper and ink waste in the world (although energy usage would be increased).
Is there a downside to less print advertising? Well, there could be because print newspapers can only be printed when there are advertising dollars to do so. Newspapers are still making money with the online advertising so they could just be printing fewer newspapers in order to be able to show a net gain.
Media markets are shrinking everywhere. There are fewer printed news sources these days - which equates to fewer editors and fewer reporters. Everyone who uses public relations and sends press releases has to move their news online and for some reason or reasons it seems that the online news markets are not as prolific as the past news print resources.
We have more news tossed about than ever in more places than ever before, but it is more difficult to get press out for companies and community organizations. Why?
In some ways the increase in online advertising could be having an effect on online news in a different way than we thought it could. I know many people who shop online - who click on the advertising - who click on this and click on that - but never stop to read the actual news.
I am just as guilty as anyone. I keep the New York Times as my home page but lately I've gotten into the habit of scrolling down to the section of podcasts and video casts. If the news isn't contained in one of those slots, I just don't seem to read it.
On the other hand - I still get the printed Wall Street Journal delivered to my home every morning and I look at every page - including some of the advertising. I never read the Wall Street Journal online.
So back to the original question - what does the online advertising increase mean to me or to you? It certainly means any company who wants to succeed with their advertising has to be doing online advertising in addition to their printed advertising.
It also means that Internet users are going to continue to be bombarded with advertising popping up everywhere. It means a new paradigm for reaching the consumer. I say new because in the more recent past, businesses had to think about adding online advertising to their print -but now they will have to consider adding print to their online.
Companies have to add to their advertising by sending online coupons. I get Borders Books coupons in my email and never see them in print advertising. I guess what is really important in today's economic worries is that you pay attention to the advertising - be it online or in print - and go out and shop.