Good piece in DM News today about the economics of online news publishing.
The WSJ says its revenues are split 60:40 between circulation and advertising. The obvious quote:
“The key to building a sustainable [online news] business is the diversity of revenue,” said Michael Zimbalist, president of the Online Publishers Association, New York.
Kinda like the real publishing business, y’know?
Less obvious but more encouraging was this:
Washington Post Newsweek Interactive, the online arm of the Washington Post Co., this year aims to get advertisers to measure washingtonpost.com and newsweek.msnbc.com not merely on clickthroughs, but on the same terms they would radio, television and print.
If it works — and we all should hope it does — the WAPost will have successfully weaned clients off the direct marketing world view, where building brand has no value. If you think return on investment is the only way to measure ad effectiveness, try to imagine a world where every TV ad looked like an infomercial.
One nugget at the bottom: USA Today plans to charge $4/month to stream headlines to your screen saver. A company called Pointcast did that starting in 1996, and IT managers did their best to yank Pointcast from their networks before it sucked up every last bit of available bandwidth. Pointcast once turned down a buyout offer of $450 million from News Corp. Bad idea: Pointcast tanked shortly thereafter. making it perhaps the only bad Net idea that News Corp. didn’t manage to invest it.