State of the News: Decline of Tradtional Media

Pew released its massive annual State of the News Media report. It’s enormous and enormously valuable with tons of data analysis about the full range of media: TV, radio, cable, local news and newspapers. Here’s an excerpt from the key findings about newspapers:

Online, an analysis of the list of Nielsen Net Ratings list of 4,600 news and information sites saw the collected number of unique visitors grow 9.25%, according to a PEJ analysis. But on that list the top sites tend to dominate. Of the 4,600 sites, the top 7% collect 80% of the traffic. And the top 20 sites attract the majority of that.

Legacy media still make up the majority of the most popular destinations, although each year newly created websites are joining the list. Of the news sites with a half million visitors a month (or the top 199 news sites once consulting, government and information data bases are removed), 67% are from legacy media, most of them (48%) newspapers. And most people graze though among a limited number of sites.

A new Pew Internet-PEJ survey finds only 21% say they tend to rely primarily on one destination for news online; only a third even say they have a favorite website. But these online news grazers do not range far. Most people, 57%, range from using two –to five websites, and only 12% use more than six.

The report also contains earlier survey findings that confirm consumer resistance to paying for content:

A new survey by PEJ and Pew Internet and American Life Project finds a tough market for building economics on the Web.

  • The findings suggest there is a difficult hill to climb in putting content behind a pay wall. Most people graze the Web for news rather than rely on primary sources. Only about a third (35%) can even identify a favorite news website. And of those that do, only 19% said they would continue to visit if that site put up a pay wall.
  • The prospects for growth in conventional display advertising also look difficult. The vast majority of Internet users, 79%, say they never or rarely had clicked on an online advertisement. They don’t mind them. They simply ignore them.

Here are a few charts that illustrate the fall of print newspapers:

Finally here’s a somewhat shocking chart showing revenue declines across traditional media:

2 Responses to “State of the News: Decline of Tradtional Media”

  1. Archive 2010/03/14 | Geo Local Road Map Says:

    […] pretty dismal story for the health and status of local media. Rather than repeat it all, check out Greg Sterling‘s post which highlights some key charts that show the decline, primarily in newspapers. […]

  2. Geo Local Road Map: pew | geolocalroadmap Says:

    […] pretty dismal story for the health and status of local media. Rather than repeat it all, check out Greg Sterling‘s post which highlights some key charts that show the decline, primarily in newspapers. […]

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