Australian Newsagency Blog

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Online revenue covers LA Times editorial costs

Mark Fletcher
December 24th, 2008 · 5 Comments

Jeff Jarvis has an interesting post at his Buzz Machine blog which says, in part, that the LA Times can cover its editorial staff costs from online revenue.  This is a significant milestone and presents the publisher with options, as Jeff speculates – when to turn off the presses?

The question of shutting print and going with a pure online model is complex.  That the LA Times has reached sufficient revenue to permit such a discussion is, of itself, ground breaking.

This is another reason our shopfits need to be flexible and why we need to be thinking about the kind of future we want for our businesses.

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Category: Media disruption · Newspapers

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Vaughan // Dec 28, 2008 at 6:12 AM

    While talking about online revenue; get a load of the front cover of The Sunday Herald Sun this morning. Elle MacPherson in all her glory at Byron Bay having a surf.

    Have a read of the final sentence……”Go online at heraldsun.com.au for The Body’s surfing picture gallery”.

    Instead of The Herald Sun having the photos inside its cover of Elle, it is using one of Australia’s most celebrated personalities to drive customers online.

    I don’t read the papers much so it suprised me to see such an obvious push to get readers online.

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  • 2 ted // Dec 28, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    I’m surprised that you’re surprised. I’d imagine the people at the Herald Sun wouldn’t be too concerned whether their readers went to the print or online product, as long as they are going to the Herald Sun. Do you care whether your customers go to your newsagency to buy a card or a magazine?

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  • 3 Jarryd Moore // Dec 28, 2008 at 5:08 PM

    Ted,

    You right, the publisher doesn’t care if the reader is getting it online or from print … at the moment.

    Id expect to see far less subtle advertising to get readers online over the next couple of years. For a publiation such as the Herald Sun, online is a more attractive prospect. Long term (and most likely short term considering the pace a which trends are changing), their online media enterprises are more profitable than print.

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  • 4 ted // Dec 28, 2008 at 9:36 PM

    Jarryd,

    I’d imagine advertisers are looking for a complete package…not just print and not just online. In the end it’s a matter of what works for them, and I don’t see too many advertisers restricting their spend to online only which is why the Herald Sun’s display advertising seems to be relatively healthy still.

    I think The Age would be in a different predicament. Their classifieds are disappearing to online at a much faster rate, hence their rapid development of their online platform. Who knows where their print business will be in five years time….if they have one

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  • 5 Jarryd Moore // Dec 29, 2008 at 6:39 PM

    Ted,

    Advertisers are looking to advertise where the numbers are. As the numbers continue to shift rapidly to online so too does the advertising revenue.

    The advertising revenue of many newspapers is still reasonbly healthy, yes. But when looked at in comparison to the increasing total being spent on online advertising, its actually pretty poor. They’re still getting the same amount of ‘pie’, its just that the advertising pie is a hell of a lot bigger than it used to be.

    For the publishers though, online appears to be more profitable. Fewer overheads, more flexability, lower production costs and the ability to include more advertising than print (as there is no physical space restriction as such) make online incredibly attractive.

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