The one chart that should scare the hell out of print media

Scribd | All Things D
Venture capitalist Mary Meeker presented her annual analysis of Internet trends Wednesday at the D10 conference, and among the dozens of charts is this one showing the steep imbalance between where people spend their time and where advertisers spend their money:

Notice that print media captures much more than its fair share of ad spending, while the Internet and especially mobile are lagging. A print optimist might read this as a sign that newspapers and magazines remain a more appealing medium to advertisers despite shrinking audiences. But Meeker argues it’s inevitable that ad dollars follow eyeballs, “it just takes time.”

We’ve already seen that phenomenon with the Internet, where total ad spending surged past declining newspaper print ad revenue.

The next question is, when will mobile revenue catch up? While mobile audiences are growing fast, they currently yield less revenue per user than the desktop Web:

Overall mobile media revenue is growing fast, a good sign, though most of the growth is led by consumer spending on specific apps, rather than advertiser spending.

Earlier: Poynter’s Rick Edmonds breaks down Meeker’s math comparing time spent to ad spending | Local TV advertisers expect to spend more on social media and mobile marketing (Poynter)

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  • Stephen Taylor

    I’ve got a great new business idea, lets hire 20 journos, 10 sales people, a couple of production people, some marketing guys, buy some paper and start a daily newspaper. I’ll put on my best suit and tie and go see some big wig city investors with some cash to get in on the action. Maybe if i ask for $1m to get set up and promise them, oh I dont know, let me look at the competition, a return on their investment in 3 years of say -$1m going to -$5m in year 5. Who’s in? Better still, I’ll stay at home in my PJ’s and post it all on Kickstarter to see how much investment I get there.

    Print is no more a viable business (compared to the innovative
    opportunities web and mobile offer). That has been the case for years
    already. The debate is as dead as print itself. 

    Think of it this way would you rather your children learn tech skills & engineering or desktop publishing and printing at school and college? What % of an undergraduate journo course anywhere in the world is spent teaching how to write for print newspapers and magazines? 5%? 10%? How many new newspaper and magazine print presses were made and sold in the last 10 years? how many will that be in the next decade?

    Embrace the wonderful new world of digital!

  • Ray Vellest

    I would agree with Kevin in saying that advertising dollars follow results, but I would say there’s more than that there, many of those who are behind the decision making process tend to see the digital media not as authoritative as a newspaper, and my guess is that in many cases the choice of for the traditional media is more often than not also part of a wider branding strategy.

  • s malko

    What needs to be explained is when you look at and compare print, radio, TV and the Internet with Mobile you have to understand  when comparing “time spent” to “ad spend” in any market (especially) metropolitan markets…there are only a few newspapers (print) vs many radio and TV stations and many, many, many more web sites.  What this means relative to the amounts of ad dollars spent to the time spent is that newsprint is still not doing too badly.  To put this in simple terms.  In a city like Seattle there may be only one print daily newspaper (if you want to count the free weeklies etc. feel free).  There are approx 14 or 15 TV stations (excluding cable), and approx 50 radio stations (excluding satellite) plus a plytheroa of web/mobile sites.  The simple point is that there are a finite number of newspapers, a lot of radio and TV stations and tons of web sites…translation is newspapers still hold a captitve audience in this context.  This is not to say that eyeballs are going else where, they ,and this will continue to be a struggle for newspapers over the next number of years. Just wanted to clarify the comparisons when comparing “time spent” to “ad spend” amongst these 5 mediums.  Still looking for the solution…but newsapers still do work.

  • Mit ItRecruitment

    It will take some time until Internet advertising and Mobile advertising take the center stage. Most of that percentage lies on the fact that newspaper ads and other printed media is what was solely used for advertisements before Internet ads and mobile ads came. This is what people was used to doing and what potential buyers and customers are used to searching for. Just wait until the present generation is more used to reading news on the Internet and see what happens.

  • Gordon Borrell

    Sorry, but there is a flaw in this type of thinking.  Time spent with media isn’t directly proportionate to money.  The INTENT of the audience greatly magnifies its value. Advertisers spend 35x more per minute to reach yellow pages readers than they do per minute to reach radio listeners or television viewers.  (Huh?!)  Yes, yellow pages readers are 35x more valuable than TV viewers. Think about why that might be and you’ll realize that “time spent” is only a valuable gauge when considering the audience’s intent at the time they’re engaging with the medium.  People spend huge amounts of time on Facebook.  Not very valuable “intent” at that time.  People spend tiny amounts of time on or  Very valuable intent.

  • Kevin Schwartz

    Actually, ad dollars follow results. Newspaper print advertising, while playing to a reduced audience, still produces more results than digital ad spending.