Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Newspapers Online Bigger Than Local TV... In Video Ad Revenue?

It's bad enough both newspapers and local TV stations are getting kicked around in this economy (and, in the case of newspapers, even when the economy was good.)

But now comes word old-media newspapers actually beat newer-media local televisions in overall revenue when it comes to -- are you ready for this? -- video advertising revenues!


Borrell Research will release a report soon that says newspapers made about $165 million last year from streaming video advertising, while TV stations made $105 million -- more than a 50% gap.

Not only that, but another traditional print vehicle -- yellow pages -- did almost as well as TV stations, pulling $85 million to $100 million in online streaming video.

One note here: Streaming video ads are still a tiny piece of the pie for older media. For example, for newspapers it comes to just 5% of Web site revenues. It's a bit more for TV stations -- 10% of their overall revenue take.

Newspaper sites have opened up Web areas for small and mid-size businesses' video advertising, which is also being used as video content.

This is not something TV stations are used to. They are more familiar with selling mainstream local 15- and 30-second commercials for network-supplied programs, syndicated programs, or local newscasts.

TV stations still have the big brand names that -- in theory -- can turn this equation around. But they need to work fast. For years, marketing executives have touted the next big online thing as the growth of local portals and local Web destinations.

Perhaps TV station executives are distracted; many have wide eyes when talking about mobile technology. But just repurposing news, weather updates and local TV shows may not be enough for local market mobile phone users -- nor for demanding local video advertisers.

Newspapers beating TV stations in their own backyard makes them the unlikely video kings -- for the moment.

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