Print still attracts more advertising than it deserves, Mary Meeker says


Newspapers and magazines attract 19 percent of total advertising spending, Mary Meeker says in her annual Internet trends report. But consumers, she says, spend only 5 percent of their time reading them.

Time spent with print media has declined, by Meeker’s charts. In 2012 she said it earned 7 percent of consumers’ time, and 25 percent of ad spending. (Jeff Sonderman called that year’s slide “The one chart that should scare the hell out of print media.”)

Meeker took some heat last year for floating a bogus fact about smartphone usage. But Poynter’s Rick Edwards wrote in 2010 that “I like Meeker’s broad term of measurement” for ad spending vs. time spent.

Meeker’s big picture measure seems to me to suffer from one critical oversimplification: the notion that advertising is more or less equally effective by platform. Give digital its due with the obviously potent search ad format, but display advertising is a different story entirely. …

My hunch is that it will take more like a decade than a year or two for Internet marketers to draw even in effectiveness — and thus in price — as measured by cost per thousand impressions. But time is emphatically on their side.

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  • NJ

    I have yet to see any evidence that time spent equates with effectiveness. Only looking at time spent is a daft way to go about media planning. Attention, relevance, audience quality and reach, emotional engagement, context, location etc etc etc – all have to be considered in determining the likely effectiveness of ads. Some people have media on all the time, but are not actually paying attention, looking at screen, listening. Some people spend a huge amount of time on mobile sites and apps where quite frankly I would never want my brand to be seen. Meeker’s argument is simplistic and damaging to mobile, which indeed does offer great opportunities but is merely a platform (or two), or a device, not a medium in itself.