The NY Times features a lengthy article on how newspapers may not equally benefit as online display advertising returns to health:
When Mercedes advertises its more basic models next year, it will largely avoid newspaper Web sites and rely on networks. That lets Mercedes “be very targeted and efficient with our dollars,” said Beth Lange, digital media specialist for Mercedes-Benz USA.
But that also explains why newspaper sites are not holding on to ad dollars, even while overall Internet advertising is creeping back. Newspaper sites are the patent-leather stilettos of the online world: they get used for special occasions, but other shoes get much more daily wear.
Yet local may be the strategic differentiator for newspapers that defies this prediction:
At McClatchy, while classified advertising also declined, revenue from online display ads rose. Retail ads rose 58 percent, to $17.7 million, and national ads from marketers like Staples and Wal-Mart rose 36 percent, to $5.4 million. Christian A. Hendricks, vice president of interactive media at McClatchy, attributed the rise to the company’s focus on online-only ads and its selling of local ads, rather than national brand campaigns.
“There’s so much inventory,” or places to put ads, “at the national level, and so fewer advertisers compared to the local marketplace,” Mr. Hendricks said.
Local thus continues to be a premium product, in both display and search.
Related: 40% of US Internet users visit online newspaper sites (per Nielsen/NAA). Medipost has the story.