Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
December 23, 200811:40 PM

Breaking News On The Internet

Media is changing much faster than you think. Today, Pew Research announced that the Internet has overtaken Newspapers as a news source for the mass population. Once again, this changes everything.

"The internet, which emerged this year as a leading source for campaign news, has now surpassed all other media except television as a main source for national and international news. Currently, 40% say they get most of their news about national and international issues from the internet, up from just 24% in September 2007. For the first time in a Pew survey, more people say they rely mostly on the internet for news than cite newspapers (35%). Television continues to be cited most frequently as a main source for national and international news, at 70%. For young people, however, the internet now rivals television as a main source of national and international news. Nearly six-in-ten Americans younger than 30 (59%) say they get most of their national and international news online; an identical percentage cites television. In September 2007, twice as many young people said they relied mostly on television for news than mentioned the internet (68% vs. 34%)."

This is taken directly from PewResearchCenter Publications' news item, Internet Overtakes Newspapers as News Source.

It's been easy Blogger fodder to look at the decline in some of the mass media traditional channels like newspapers and radio. In fact, just yesterday, Mediaweek announced that radio revenue was down 20% in November. While the news looks grim on many levels for these media channels, the Internet's growth - while impressive - still raises the major issue:

Who is going to pay for all of this content that we are all now consuming online?

You can blame the Blogs, you can blame The Huffington Post, you can blame Twitter, and you can even blame iTunes Podcast section for all of this free and "breaking news" content that is available, but online marketers are having a very difficult time turning all of this traffic and content into cash flow positive advertising dollars. Even the ones that are turning a profit cannot compare those dollars to what their traditional counterparts were used to pulling in, and therein lies the rub: As Marketers we are faced - at this immediate moment in time - with a huge and complex problem...

The Internet is growing too fast. Traditional mass media is slowing down too fast, and there has not been ample time to build a sustainable and reliable advertising platform for the new media channel to adjust fast enough to all of these changes.

Any idea how long it took channels like newspapers, radio and television to optimize their product to make it so appealing to advertisers? Most advertising professionals would argue that all of these channels are still working at it. How can we fairly compare the advertising streams online to those of other media channels that have been around for close to a century? Even attempting to compare new media to traditional media is ridiculous. If you layer on top of that the way that consumers receive the messages, it gets even more complex. We're moving from a traditional and passive channel into one that is not only interactive, but individuals are now able to use these channels to become publisher's of their own content.

The fragmentation of media continues.

We are about to head into a time of Holiday break. Everything is about to shut down until the new year starting sometime tomorrow (with the exception of this Blog). If you do one work-related thing while on vacation, think about how consumers expect all of this content for free. Think about how much new and emerging traffic is being directed to these online channels. Think about what advertising models would work best to connect consumers and advertisers, and then ask yourself the bigger question:

How are we going to become better Marketers online as this channel continues to be the place where everyone is going to get all of their information first?

You can feel free to just dream about what this world will look or share your thoughts, ideas and comments below.

By Mitch Joel