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AdAge suffers from print costs, blames it on free online content

01.12.2009 · Posted in Advertising, English, Media, Print

Will Online Publishing Be Forced Back to Pay Model?

NEW YORK ( — We will witness a movement back toward the for-pay online publishing model in 2009, says Ad Age Editor Jonah Bloom. In this commentary looking at the media year ahead, Bloom notes that there are more publishers than online advertisers to support them. And he strongly suggests that newspaper and magazine websites have no choice but to accelerate their diversification beyond advertising revenue if they hope to survive.

AdAge editor Jonah Bloom “announcing” a so-called paid online content trend!
(Just an audio track, as AdAge does not allow embedding videos, funny eh?)  

The first comment (below) to Jonah’s editorial video by Jen Groover was a a positive & encouraging one:

Great insight Jonah. I think the pendulum has definitely swung too much to the free side and content providers and experts providing the content have lost “perceived value” for their knowledge and insight from consumers/readers. On the ad side, I still see so many creative and diverse opportunities available to supplement for loss in “standard” advertising models but it seems the old models are so ingrained in the industry that many have trouble re-thinking new ones to create a fresh perspective of what “advertising” really is. As business models across the board are being re-thought and restructured right now, the “advertising” industry has a great opportunity to re-introduce to the world what advertising in the new economy is all about. The question is who will be the most creative and fearless as most are hunkered down and fearful. -Jen Groover –Broomall, PA

So I was instantly tempted to counterargue to both Jonah and Jen. Here is my comment:

Bad insight Jonah! I think print is dead. It was mainly a paid medium just enough to finance the cost of ink & paper. Now that people are heavily reading online, (especially B2B print), old school publishers should consider killing the printed matter and migrating to online only. They should rely on advertising. The name of the magazine was AdAge, am I wrong? I think that this piece of editorial is nothing but an AdAge attempt to justify paid content and subsidize losses incurred by the printed matter. If you make it paid, a “native” online competitor (most probably a ring of industry bloggers) will make & keep it free and you will eventually lose. You would and should not dare it. The printed magazine is dead, the newspaper is about to die. The web is now the biggest competitor to TV. Only premium & exclusive live content like a soccer / football game or a series like Lost may be accepted as paid content, be it on the web or on TV. Free your mind Jonah, the ad revenues will flow in.

Cem ARGUN, Istanbul, Turkey.-

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