Is Online Advertising a Threat to Print Advertising?

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Outsell's new Market View report revealed that business-to-business readers are spending 15 percent less on print news and trade journals than they did in 2001, possibly as a result of competition from online advertising sources such as Yahoo and Google.

While revenue for the traditional news and trade market continues to grow, the industry is still vulnerable to the migration of audiences to online sources, which in turn decreases its ad revenue per user. And with search engine ad revenues expected to double within the next 5 years to nearly $19 billion, print and trade journals would be wise to continue the trend that has already begun of purchasing online space to supplement their offline base.

This would help to combat the main problem that the offline news and trade market faces in this new world of blogging and up to the minute content: They are just too slow. Users of print trade media, who are becoming increasingly Internet savvy, are just tired of waiting for the weekly journal to arrive when they can go online to their favorite blog to get the freshest information long before the next journal's delivery date. And search engines, like Google and Yahoo, offer multiple content and blogging sources for users to peruse.

Another threat that online advertising poses to the print news and trade market is the cost factor. It is relatively inexpensive to place content ads or to start a blog online. Whereas with print advertising, it can be very expensive and could require an extended commitment.

Online advertisers looking to appeal to other businesses or get the word out to others in their industry currently have the benefit of low-cost, adjustable advertising when they need it; this is especially true of advertisers targeting audiences in the IT field, who often look to blogs and other online sources as their main source for industry news.

While online advertising still has a ways to go before it can match the $89.5 billion ad revenue of the print news and trade market, it is well on it's way to positioning itself as a serious contender for cheaper, faster BTB advertising.


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