Hello, Is That The Bottom I See?

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Magazines: We estimate magazine advertising revenue to decrease 15.0% in 2009 (vs. our prior down 12.5% estimate) and decline a further 5.0% in 2010.

Analysts at Barclays via Media Memo (here).

There Are 8 Comments On This Article.

  1. it’s gonna be a tough road ahead w/out question

    As someone who works for a software/solutions provider who caters to the media industry I can tell you that all media outlets have been feeling the pinch to the extreme…tv, radio, cable, outdoor, magazines, newspapers, etc., all have slashed budgets, frozen spending, cut staff, reduced this and that all to pay attention to the ever shrinking bottom line.

    Our company is the industry leader in the application and solutions we provide to media professionals and we’ve enjoyed 16 years of success bu tthis year ahs been EXTREMELY trying, clients are nervous and prospects are scared sh*tless right now, I speak to both each day and I’ve never experienced this amount of nervousness and despair.

  2. I’d like nothing more than for the bottom to be in sight.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think the pot has really come to a boil yet.

    It seems to me that many companies are still mired in cutting to make the budget look better, rather than re-inventing the model for long-term success.

    Of course, there are exceptions to that statement.

    However, success is not going to come in the form of keeping/dropping print or doing more/less on the Web. Those are merely tools.

    Part of what will facilitate success is changing the options on the table for advertisers.

    True, publications of any type need to have a readership sufficiently large to entice advertisers, but more needs to be done. We all buy socks and underwear, so we can expect to see department store ads just about everywhere.

    But for so many other businesses, more effective (and cheaper and trackable) advertising can be had via postcards and television.

    I read a lot of newspapers and magazines on the Web. Despite the fact that nearly all the ‘big boys’ require unique login credentials (and as such, they know when I am reading), no one displays customized ads aimed at me. Sure, they might spam me about stories or partner products, but nothing is aimed at me. I’m not in the market for a Lexus, and I generally don’t talk to my doctor about pharmaceuticals.

    I’m just a photog, but from my perspective as a small business owner consider this:

    In addition to editorial/news assignments, I do commercial/ad and PR work.

    I wouldn’t buy an ad in the paper to advertise either my commercial or editorial services simply because the cost to benefit ratio is far too low. I would be paying for a wide audience to see a very specialized ad.

    I WOULD buy an ad in the electronic version of my local papers if I could only have it display in front of people who check “own my own business” or “work in procurement” in the survey they fill out allowing them free access to everything.

    Even better, per the Google model, I’d like to only pay when people actually click the link, and set a max monthly price (to avoid an all-of-a-sudden $10,000 bill). I’d also like to see extremely detailed logs about how often the ad was displayed and how often it was clicked.

    And I’m not asking the publisher to turn over names to me. Will Seberger (me) becomes user number 12345 and Rob Haggart becomes user number 12346. All I ever see in audits would be U12345 and U12346 along with any others.

    When I approach the ad office with a set of criteria for my ad indicating that viewers must include people in the professional photography industry, both those numbers would be included. I would know what the potential audience size was before the ads went out, without compromising confidentiality.

    I really don’t care about “billions and billions served” unless I know that the 300 people in this town that I actually have a shot with are seeing the ad. And why pay for the extra?

    With such a system, I could likely undertake my own direct mail campaign (and why, by the way, aren’t larger papers already offering that service for clients anyway) and have an effective ad ‘in the paper’ thereby ensuring that my impressions are everywhere without spending more than I would spend for a dead trees ad right now?

    Perhaps for more money, the ad office would make sure that Rob Haggart saw his own customized version of the ad if he opted in to such a service. Dunno.

    But the days of shotgun advertising, I suspect, are dead and gone. Until the industry finds a solution, they can hire the best or worst content providers and not see a significant gain in revenue.

    Great content will bring readers. But money doesn’t really come from readers. Great advertising options will bring more advertisers. They’re the ones that bring the bucks.

    Sorry to hijack your post.

    • todd huffman

      @Will Seberger, while it makes more sense for advertisers, when advertising goes from ambient to targeted directly to me, I will feel my privacy invaded to a tipping point and my response will shift from intrigue to repulsion.

    • @David, which may in fact be the best summation of the root cause of the newspaper industry’s demise …

  3. jean tickell

    From BBC:
    Due to recent budget cuts and the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil, the Light at the End of the Tunnel has been turned off.

    • matthew pace

      @jean tickell,

      its ok….due to the terrible ride, antiquated seating, bad engineering, and never changing cars, and one track only, the train isn’t coming.

      matthew pace