October 23, 2008

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The New York Times earnings report parallels recorded music trends: digital revenues not nearly enough to offset steep decline in traditional business Via Inquisitr: The New York Times (see my story on their Times Select efforts, here) just just published their 3rd quarterly report, and things are not looking good: "The company reported 3rd quarter net income of $6.5 million, compared to $13.4 million for the same period last year. Advertising declined 16% in the quarter after reporting an 11% fall for the first half of the year. Print advertising took the biggest hit with an 18.3% fall for the quarter, with classified advertising down 28%. Online advertising was up 10.2% off an increase of 16% at about.com, but the online gains were not enough to offset the decline in print, with online advertising making up 12.4% of advertising revenue for the company, but up from 10.6% for the same time last year" Traditional revenues are seriously down; digital revenues are up but clearly not enough to get even close to anything resembling growth. No surprise here: the very same thing has happened in the recorded music sector: CD sales are nose-diving (or shall we say grave-diving?) but download sales are not anywhere close to making up for that loss. So here, unsolicited, is my take on why this is happening, and what I think could be done to change this. Why is this happening? The bottom line: much too little & way too late. Even though the NYT has recently really stepped up their efforts (see below), it took both the newspaper / print publishing and the recorded music industries years (or shall I say, a decade, in the case of the major record labels) to even start thinking about how they could embrace & then monetize the irreversible changes brought on by the digitally networked kids and young adults that will be the readers / listeners / viewers - the...

Gerd Leonhard

Keynote Speaker, Think-Tank Leader, Futurist, Author & Strategist, Idea Curator, some say Iconoclast | Heretic, CEO TheFuturesAgency, Visiting Prof FDC Brazil, Green Futurist

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