Home » OPINION » Columns » TODD SMITH — More US journalists working for online only rather than newspapers

TODD SMITH — More US journalists working for online only rather than newspapers



There are now more Americans working for online publishers and broadcasters than for newspapers, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment at online outlets first eclipsed newspapers in October 2015.

As of March, there were 197,800 Americans working in the “internet publishing and broadcasting” sector versus 183,200 people working for U.S. newspapers.

The data goes back to 1990, and since then employment at newspapers has fallen by nearly 60 percent, having peaked in June 1990 at 457,800 people. The number of newspaper jobs has fallen consistently since then.

Digital publishing, meanwhile, has grown considerably. Throughout much of the early 1990s there were around 30,000 online publishing jobs, though that figure grew to 112,000 by 2000. Then the dot-com bubble burst and the number of jobs shrunk by about half.

Online-only publishing jobs picked up again in the late 1990s, and continued to grow during the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. The number of jobs has more than doubled since then.

Most small and mid-sized metro papers are struggling to find new revenue as print advertising and circulation decline and online advertising fails to make up the difference.

Even large national newspapers, such as The New York Times, are still figuring out to adapt as the internet age. The Times has more than 1 million digital-only subscribers, and it has goals to reach $800 million in digital revenue by 2020.

Many are also questioning the sustainability of online-only business models as well. The Financial Times reported this spring that BuzzFeed cut its 2016 revenue projections in half after it missed its 2015 goals (BuzzFeed disputes the specific totals). Mashable cut 30 jobs in April and has dealt with an exodus of a number of other journalists after it decided to shift its focus toward video.

While newspaper job losses have been the steepest, other sectors have also seen decreases in job numbers. Employment at periodicals fell 37 percent from a peak of 150,100 in December 1990 to 93,600 in March.

Radio broadcasting jobs fell from January 1990 to March by about 27 percent. As of March, there were 130,400 Americans working in television broadcasting.

AP launches native digital ad agency

The Associated Press – the stalwart global newswire that fuels newsrooms around the world – is getting into the ad game.

The AP will tap into its network of newswire subscribers with the launch of this new native ad agency. The agency will offer up sponsored content alongside its news inventory and media giant Hearst will be one of the first AP subscribers to give the new agency a test drive.

In some ways, it’s a natural outgrowth of the AP model: If you’re an outlet that can’t always afford to report on the goings-on in New Guinea, for instance, you can subscribe to the AP and pull one of its reports. Similarly, if you’re a struggling outlet unable to pump out high-end sponsored content, you could now pull that content from the AP as well.

“We’re hoping to be able to make native advertising available for smaller members who can’t afford to make this stuff or could spend that kind of money,” Paul Caluori, AP’s global director of digital services, told International Business Times. “As you spread it across the membership, you become more attractive to agencies representing.”

Apple uses iPhone user videos in new ad campaign

When Apple’s advertising team isn’t knocking Taylor Swift off of treadmills, they often turn to the talent of artistically inclined iPhone owners all over the world.

The Cupertino company released a series of short ads on Monday that draws from some of the best iPhone videos shot by its millions of users.

The eight, 15-second vignettes — the latest installment in Apple’s ongoing user-farmed “Shot on iPhone” ad campaign — encompass everything from hippos bobbing to EDM beats to idyllic summer beach scenes to stop-motion penguin parties.

Apple started the award-winning campaign last year as a way to show off the creative capabilities of its high-definition cameras and suite of software tools. Its most recent video before now was a user-created ad Apple ran last month on Mother’s Day.

The latest batch comes as Apple begins rolling out a new creativity-focused version of the Genius Bar to some of its biggest retail stores in a bid to teach people more about how to use their Apple products for photography, film and music.

The campaign seems to represent one of two prongs in Apple’s recent advertising strategy, the other being a slew of A-list cameos and pop-culture references meant to promote services like Apple Music and Apple TV.

Online advertising poised to overtake TV advertising next year

Although TV advertising will remain strong as the industry evolves over the next five years, internet advertising will overtake broadcast advertising in the U.S. next year.

That is the finding from PwC’s annual Global Entertainment and Media Outlook report, the company’s five-year economic forecast for media and entertainment industry revenue and ad spending. PwC forecasts that entertainment and media spending will hit $720 billion by 2020, up from $603 billion in 2015.

U.S. TV advertising revenue is expected to rise from $69.9 billion to $81.7 billion in 2020, at an annual growth rate of 3.2 percent. Internet advertising, meanwhile, brought in $59.6 billion in revenue last year, and that number is projected to rise to $93.5 billion by 2020 (9.4 percent). PwC forecasts that internet advertising will overtake broadcast TV advertising for the first time in 2017.

The biggest advertising gains are expected in mobile advertising, which was responsible for 34.7 percent of total internet ad revenue in 2015 at $20.7 billion and is projected to rise to 49.4 percent by 2020.

Linked Mic | Microsoft inks largest acquisition in history with LinkedIn

Microsoft Corp. used the largest acquisition in its history to snap up LinkedIn Corp. for $26.2 billion, making a big bet that it can add luster to a brand that needs a jolt to its own software offerings by connecting them with the professional social network, which itself has stumbled lately.

The deal is Chief Executive Satya Nadella ‘s latest move to revitalize a company that was viewed not long ago as left behind by trending technology. Nadella is betting the deal will open new horizons for Microsoft’s Office suite as well as LinkedIn, both of which are looking for differentiation and fuel to help them navigate the churning digital seas.

By connecting core software like Microsoft Word and PowerPoint with LinkedIn’s network of 433 million professionals, the deal marks a turn for Microsoft, which stumbled in a mobile phone venture launched under Nadella’s predecessor. It also aims to take on challengers in several areas.

It could help keep services like Outlook email relevant enough that customers won’t want to leave it for rivals such as Google’s Gmail, analysts said. And because the acquisition brings a network heavy in marketing and sales professionals, it delivers a shot across the bow to competitors in those areas, such as Salesforce and Marketo.

For LinkedIn, the opportunity to tap Microsoft’s customers, including the 1.2 billion users of its Office suite of business software, could help it jumpstart growth. Spin Cycle is interested to see how the big wedding works out, and how it continues to disrupt a constantly changing digital world.

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.


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