In recent years the media and marketing industries have seen a decline in TV and newspaper advertising, a major source of revenue for any media outlet. The largest factor in this trend is the rise of the Internet in the 1990s and other digital media in the 2000s. Advertising online and on devices like mobile phones and mp3 players is cheaper than placing an ad in traditional media. If an ad is placed on the right website, the potential number of people who will see the ad is astronomically higher than the average viewers and readers of most television programs and newspapers, respectively.
There are reasons specific to both of these mediums that have made the Internet a more palatable choice to businesses when choosing where to advertise. For instance, in TV advertising, it should be considered that many people switch the channel when commercials come on. This is more difficult to do on a website where the banner is placed strategically in a particular spot on a page the viewer has chosen to visit in order to gain his or her attention. Other types of online advertising make it almost impossible for the viewer to turn away: ads embedded into streaming videos the viewer has sought out to watch is a well-known example.
TV advertising in particular has seen a decline because of audience fragmentation. Satellite channels, video-on-demand, and the fact that there are more television stations than ever before, means that there are less people watching any given channel. In addition to this, there are devices on the market that allow the viewer to pre-record their favorite programs and skip the advertisements. All of these factors have led to the decline in the value of TV advertising.
Newspaper circulation is at an all-time low, so newspaper advertising has inevitably also taken a hit as advertising revenue on its digital editions have consistently risen, but there are other factors at play. One is the fact that the industries, like supermarkets and department stores, that in the past had been the biggest sources of revenue for newspapers, have consolidated over the past couple decades, and so the pool of companies that may advertise is smaller than before.
All of these problems facing TV and newspaper advertising are exacerbated by the state of the economy. Rising oil prices, the housing market crash, and the subprime loan crisis in the late 2000s played no small part in the decline of advertising expenditure at the time. Though internet advertising also saw a decline, it was not nearly as dramatic as the drop seen in traditional media.
Other causes cited for the decline in newspaper advertising are tied to reasons for the decline in newspaper readership not related to the web.These include the switch by some major newspapers from the broadsheet to the tabloid format. This was done in a bid to appeal to demographics that otherwise may not read a newspaper. Ironically, this appeal had a dear trade-off: the tabloid format has been traditionally associated with trivial if not dubious content, and so has alienated parts of its traditional audiences. Others cite the quality of journalism has declined in comparison to the investigative journalism of the mid-20th century.
Both newspapers and television networks have acclimated themselves to new media by selling ad space on their websites. In fact, the online editions of major newspapers are some of the most popular website on the web. It is an undeniable fact that the revenue TV networks and newspapers once relied on from advertising will be permanently affected by new technology. It now becomes a question of how well traditional media will continue to adapt to this new reality.