Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Grim reading for Pew's state of the media report

Pew's annual state of the media report was released yesterday and once again for followers of media statistics it doesn't make particularly good reading.

For the economics of the media industry 2009 has once again seen some quite astounding figures

1.In newspapers, ad revenue (for print and online combined) fell 26 per cent a rate of decline that was more than 50 per cent steeper than a year earlier.

and more worryingly

2.Online, advertising during the year declined for the first time since 2002, according to data from eMarketer. The firm’s updated August projections called for online ad spending to fall 4.6 per cent to $22.4 billion.

As for paywalls

The findings suggest there is a difficult hill to climb in putting content behind a pay wall. Most people graze the Web for news rather than rely on primary sources. Only about a third (35%) can even identify a favorite news website. And of those that do, only 19%3 said they would continue to visit if that site put up a pay wall.

and for those in the industry

Newspaper staffs continued to shrink in 2009. We estimate that by year’s end 5,900 more full-time newsroom jobs were lost,

As the report says,the worry now is two fold.How much of the lost revenues can be clawed back as the economy starts to recover from the recession and secondly what are the prospects for the alternative journalism projects that are springing up?