News, radio and cable: find your web

yellow ethernet cable on dotted background

Posted by Mark Elliot, SPARK President

With the advent of the Internet, search, on demand content and now a really cool iPad from Apple, I’d say the traditional news and cable better find it’s web.  Specifically, how they reformat their offerings to be profitable with a web presence.

As we have witnessed, traditional newspaper and cable models are changing drastically.  Research suggests 57% of news consumers now go to digital sources and 44% of Google News visitors scan headlines without accessing newspaper sites (source: Center for Media Research).  Readership is down and cable companies are seeing increased pressure to maintain a variety of channels, with increased costs and less revenue.  Something has gotta give.

The way I see it, they have to find their web.  Our local paper has created a great forum of readership with its online presence.  The niche filled is local news and it will continue to serve this well.  The challenge remains of making this model profitable with a declining traditional readership.

As for cable, watch out.  The online models have not been completely flushed out, but it’s coming.  TV viewership has dropped.  The recent Grammy Show attracted in the neighborhood of 23 million viewers.  While this is an impressive number, it is down from 46 million in its peak. business models are arriving.  The day where you download your TV programming has arrived, and is coming to your living room or anywhere else with a WiFi or 4G networks.

Traditional media is not dead.  The survivors will adapt, have the right content for their target audience, and find a way to boost revenue in an online way. I predict the winners will become even better at “news content” and fill niches that are unique.  Cable and radio companies will completely change the way they do business with online feeds and on demand programming.

For marketers, a focused approach will be necessary.  Providing value, whether in traditional or online space, requires a solid media plan and analytics to measure effectiveness.  SPARK recommends starting with the target audience and including an integrated approach that is not singular in placement. There is no one plan fits all, but applying the right media mix with social media and PR will cast a wide net.

As a marketer, company owner and consumer of media, these changes impact me every day–being connected to content, at the touch of a button, in my hand, on demand, wherever I may be.

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