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2011 is a landmark year for business owners who use online advertising. According to a survey from Poynter Institute, 2011 marks the year that online readership passed the combined readership of printed newspapers.
This moment has been on its way for years. Now that we have actually reached it though, advertisers will need to think seriously about where they put their money. If newspapers and magazines are no longer the way to go, then what alternatives do business owners have?
The owners of online businesses already know that there are plenty of places to advertise. When 41% of news readers say that they get their information from the Internet, it is time to start paying attention to the formats that will really attract attention. Those numbers look even more intimidating (or exciting, depending on your perspective) when you look at readers between 18 and 29 years old. In this age bracket, 65% say they get most of their news from the Internet rather than from newspapers or magazines.
Is print media dead? The Internet hasn’t dealt it a deathblow just yet, but the future of print journalism doesn’t look good. Poynter expects the industry to lose between 1,000 and 1,500 jobs this year alone. That means weaker content for newspapers that are already struggling. As they look to syndication to fill their pages, more and more readers will get tired of seeing the same old perspective in every rag. They will naturally gravitate to online news formats that can offer numerous perspectives, faster coverage, and enhanced media.
It’s interesting to note that online readership has finally eclipsed print readership, but it isn’t the most interesting thing that the Poynter Institute found. The Poynter Institute’s research also revealed that 41% of their responders use mobile devices to read news online. Even more interesting is that businesses haven’t taken advantage of this growing demographic: only 3% of digital advertising focuses on mobile readers.
This means two important things for business owners:
Newspapers are hurting, and they’re looking for ways to make money so they can stay in business. Changing technology has forced them to take content online, but they haven’t yet learned how to make money from their websites.
Now is the time for business owners to take the step towards mobile advertising. The prices are cheap and the readership is growing. If you want to put your advertising dollars where they matter most, then you should consider buying ad space on news sites that offer their readers easy access through mobile devices.