Dales Bits – August 09

ONLINE COMMENT

In an interesting move, Australia’s two largest newspaper groups News Corp and Fairfax are getting ready to charge for access to their websites.

The Fairfax approach seems to be around putting up ‘pay-walls’ around either key elements of their websites, or possibly staggered free and paid access levels for content.

Brian McCarthy, Fairfax CEO said “….without monetisation of the online sites that the newspaper industries have operated very successfully, we can’t afford to keep the big newsroom staffs we have”.

The impact on NZ sites such as stuff.co.nz and nzherald.co.nz are yet to be known, but given their international owners are driving these changes, it is unlikely they will come out unscathed.

We see this as a major risk, as consumers have enjoyed a free service for many years now…but at huge cost for the publishers.

The key issue is that online advertising has not been able to cover the huge costs of web development as well as compensating for the overall drop in newspaper advertising.

It is a reality all consumers will have to face in a user-pays environment, however the benefits of online might also turn out to be its downfall for News Corp and Fairfax as readers may well abandon the sites in favour of other free options….and we will know…in real time.

POSTCARDS FROM OZ

Things are looking up…

An interesting front page headline in Australia’s AdNews magazine highlights the general feeling in this market, and in NZ to an extent.

‘Media bloodied, but not bowed’

In a display of uncharacteristic candor, many of the leading media owners and agencies are finally admitting that yes…things have been rough.

Most feel that the market has bottomed out in one of the worst media market years on record and expectation is for a small last quarter pick-up.

Like New Zealand, the tendency is for media agencies and clients to steer towards media that has a proven history of success rather than risking investment in the unknown.  The other major factor is a higher expectation of discounts and added value in this very competitive time.

If you are interested in reading the full article, please let us know (dale@media360.co.nz)


One response

11 08 2009
August Update «

[…] Dales Bits – August 09 […]

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