Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Troubling times for Newspapers

A post at JRA refers to a BBC Today interview with Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian and Andreas Whittam Smith, the first editor of The Independent, discussing the prospects for 2009.

This is worth a listen as it comes on the back of Google announcing it was pulling out of its attempt to sell print advertising.

When asked if print is dead, the reply was "people still want to read newspapers they just don't want to pay for them". The digital generation expects this type of information for free and the newspaper groups are desperately struggling to provide such a service for free.

Where does this leave the agent? Both interviewees agreed that this will leave regional papers in the cold and almost certainly out of business. I am not sure about you, but the property section of my local rag is used to dry out my football boots and I ought to be one of the few who actually looks at it.

If google are telling me they can't make it work and two editors of some of the leading papers in the UK are saying the next 2 years will see mass casualties and change in the landscape forever, one shouldn't need any further encouragement to embrace the Internet.

Look upon this as opportunity, ask yourself how property will be advertised online, will it be advertised online? Simply displaying your property on a portal is not advertising per se, so where and how will the customers of the next two years view property advertisement online. Can we have property classifieds online?

The papers are investing heavily in new media and asking how best to push news through various platforms. The short answer is they don't know what the consumer wants?! But they know they have to change! Amazon Kindle was mentioned a few times, which if you haven't seen yet is a large PDA looking device that displays papers, books and magazines. Don't dismiss this off hand as I can see a day where everyone is walking around with something similar, being fed blogs, newspapers, their favourite books.

Paper is dying, Long live the Tree!


Anonymous said...

A good article. Local papers are really going to struggle without advertising revenue and constant pressure on price.

Anonymous said...

I used to buy all the papers available in the store 0:-) but it's just ridiculous now that so much information is available online, and considering that we could save quite a few trees.

There's no going back I am definitely done with paper, and am looking forward to using an affordable tablet.

When one door closes, another one opens.

Anonymous said...

Pulling out of newspaper advertising was one of the fist things my local estate agency friends did to cut costs. Online is definantly the way forward although I believe there will always be a need for off-line however small that may be.

Anonymous said...

think this speaks for itself, revenue drop of over 50% year on year on property

LONDON - US newspaper publisher Gannett plans to write down the value of its newspapers by up to $5.2bn (£3.6bn) and has revealed that profits dropped 36% in the fourth quarter

In the UK ad revenue fell by 29.3% year on year. Classified revenues were 35.3% lower (in sterling) reflecting declines of 57.7% in real estate, 35.2% in employment and 31.2% in automotive.

Anonymous said...

The demise of newspaper advertising is simply a movement with the times. The new "Facebook" generation amongst others are the new clients of tomorrow. They are not buying newspapers and to take it one step further are exchanging the TV remote for a keyboard where they can find all the information without being "bombarded" with advertising that doesnt interest them.
Century 21 in the US has announced that it is cutting TV adverts and placing more emphasis online. There is one company moving with the natural shift.
For us consumers who dont bother with newspapers there is one small hope for us - Fish and chip shops might just lower the price of cod and chips as the price of paper they wrap it up in comes down - Dream on!