Five Reasons Jeff Bezos Got a Bargain for The Washington Post

Jeff Bezos didn’t have a coupon, but he still got a great deal for The Washington Post - especially from a marketing and PR viewpoint.

As a platform to connect with the public, traditional news outlets still pack a huge punch in terms of credibility and reach. Consider the stats:

Washington Post - Traditional Media Publicity 1

1. More people trust traditional media

What source do people trust most for news about a company? Traditional media – and that trust is growing.

32 percent of people now say they trust traditional news sources. That’s up 10 percent from 2011 to 2012.

By comparison, just 14 percent see social media as similarly trustworthy.

2. Americans still spend a week a year with newspapers

Time Reading Newspaper - Traditional Media - Publicity

Though it has dropped, Americans spend more than six days reading newspapers each year.

People don’t spend as much time as they once did with traditional media, but the drop-off is slowing.

In 2003, the average American adult read newspapers for 198 hours per year. A 2010 projection expected that number to fall to only 150 hours by 2012.

However, 150 hours is still significant amount of time (six full days of reading plus several more hours).

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3. People follow social media links to news sites

Fifteen percent of American adults now get most of their news from friends and family on social media. That number jumps to 25 percent when examining just the 18- to 29-year-old population.

However, 77 percent of these social news readers follow the links to the source: the media outlet where the story originated.

So even if people use Twitter, Facebook or another social network to share the WaPo’s breaking stories, they’re likely to click through to the website.

4. Traditional media subscription rates are up

It’s early to call it a comeback, but traditional media outlets are attracting more eyeballs recently.

Seventeen of the USA’s top 25 daily newspapers have seen subscription rates increase from March 2012 to March 2013.

Eight of those 17 saw a jump by 10 percentage points or more.

(Note: The Washington Post was one of the eight top 25 papers to lose subscription in that time.)

Any rise in subscription rates only helps marketers by giving their story more visibility and increasing the likelihood that people will share it.

5. The Bezos revolution?

“Don’t bet against Bezos” is the chorus from Silicon Valley, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Techies believe that Bezos can bring a cultural change to The Washington Post and update its web efforts by breaking down the silos holding journalists and web technologists.

Bezos may also bring Amazon’s personalization expertise to the news outlet, using data that newspapers have long been hesitant to collect.

No matter how Bezos succeeds (and we think he will), it will serve as a blueprint for the rest of traditional media outlets.

For more media industry insight, download our latest State of the Media report free here. 

Image: vpickering (Creative Commons)