April 7, 2014

On Pew’s Journalism Revenue Numbers

Pew Research Center: (emphasis added)

Total revenue supporting American journalism has declined by one-third since 2006, according to a new analysis by Pew Research Center. The sources of the estimated $63-$65 billion dollars supporting print, online and broadcast news have also shifted, with advertising dollars declining and audience payments, in the form of subscriptions, for example, comprising a bigger share. In addition, non-traditional revenue, such as digital marketing services and event hosting—which was minimal in 2006—has quadrupled, even though it remains a small piece of the pie.

Audience payments grew by 50% in the last 7 years and now account for 24% of total income. This is already a respectable slice, and as I wrote in January, I see knowledgeables further-gnawing at the market share of big, traditional,” news organizations.

In fact, as this happens, I believe we’ll see the third source of revenue explode: Digital marketing and event hosting,” as Pew calls it, account for 8% of total income, 400% more than in 2006. For the naked eye these terms may seem a little ambiguous, but really they are a convenient misnomer for an unfortunate epidemic: We’ll sponsor your yearly conference, and you’ll coincidentally decide the first or second spot in the agenda should be a speech by our influential CEO.

The above, and what some call native advertising,” are going to make up the other (ugly) side of the future of information.

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