A milestone has been passed this year in terms of the growth of digital advertising in comparison to print media. Statista has published a chart that perfectly illustrates how the market has changed in the past decade and how great the decline of print has been across the board.
In the first six months of 2012 Google made $1.6 bn more in ad revenue than the entire US print industry — that’s not just newspapers, but magazines too. Google made $20.8 bn in ad revenue while US print media generated $19.2 bn.
This baton passing moment comes in the same year that the print edition of Newsweek was axed and others speculated about the future of papers like the Guardian.
As the Statista put it what is remarkable about this is that Google is a 14 year old company and yet it makes more money than an entire industry combined. That’s a staggering to think about.
Over at Slate it notes how five years ago a panel on the future of newspapers at Stanford University, that included then Marissa Mayer, then Google’s director of search and user experience, heard from Gary Pruitt, then the CEO of McClatchy Newspapers and now CEO of the Associated Press, who said, “We take comfort from Charles Darwin’s observation that it’s not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change. We just need to be adaptable.”
However, Slate’s Will Oremus notes that none of what Pruitt said has turned out to be true:
“Flash forward half a decade, and it turns out that newspapers weren’t the strongest, the most intelligent, or the most adaptable. They’ve continued to churn out the same content while watching their advertisers steadily flee for sites like Craigslist, Yahoo, the Huffington Post/AOL, Facebook, and yes, Google. Some European papers today are belatedly trying to band together to prevent Google News from aggregating their headlines without paying royalties. There’s no guarantee that such a scheme would have worked even in 2007, given the Internet ethos that information wants to be free. But it might have had a better chance then than today,” he writes on Slate.
The situation is considerably worse than the graph above illustrates if you look only at the US newspaper industry.
Earlier this year it was estimated by Roy Greenslade that total US ad revenue, including digital, stands at $34bn (£21.6bn) compared to Google’s revenues of $37.9bn (£24.1bn) for 2011.
Main image Bigstockphoto.com.