2011 State of the Media Report
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In 2010, the media industry experimented with new models, embraced social media practices, and adopted a digital-first mentality through mobile applications and an online focus. Here’s a look back at some of the year’s hottest highlights from the upcoming 2011 Vocus State of the Media Report.
Compared to 2009, the losses in the newspaper industry were not nearly as damaging in 2010. Roughly 151 newspapers closed in 2010, while approximately 300 newspapers went under the previous year. Only one major daily newspaper was lost when the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and the Honolulu Bulletin merged and became the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Newspaper launches were dominated by online-only news sources, the majority of those being Aol’s Patch.com. Meanwhile, several major newspaper organizations experimented with paywalls, including News Corporation, MediaNews Group and Gannett. Those that utilized the metered concept – a paywall that only requires readers to pay for select content – reported mild success. As we head into 2011, look for the news to increasingly go digital as traditional newspapers turn their focus to the Web.
The magazine industry started to stabilize in 2010 with the number of launches being greater than the total number of foldings. Magazine debuts this year were dominated by regional publications, while the majority of closures were in consumer magazines.
Among the many changes this year was the introduction of the iPad, which magazine publishers embraced through the creation of iPad apps. Despite the growth of applications available, Women’s Wear Daily cited information from the Audit Bureau of Circulations that says digital iPad sales have dropped. Vanity Fair sold 8,700 digital editions in November, which was down from 10,500 in August, September and October. Glamour dropped from 4,301 in September to 2,775 in November, and GQ sold 11,000 in November, which was down from its average of 13,000 in May and October. Meanwhile, Wired fell to 23,000 in November from 31,000 in July and September. Rebecca Bredholt, managing editor of magazine content at Vocus Media Research Group, doesn’t believe this is indicative of a potential trend, however. “I think that sales slump was a holiday trend, not a forecast of things to come,” she said. “People were buying things for others, not iPad downloads for themselves.”
The television industry had average job turnover in 2010. Major trends in the industry included the steady stream of stations that added 4:30 a.m. newscasts in an attempt to reach early birds. Meanwhile, stations across the country have begun to embrace mobile technology by sending text message news alerts, moving towards streaming video and creating cell phone apps for smartphones.
As more online resources emerge for radio, such as Pandora and Last FM, it might seem that radio is on its way out, especially when other technologies like satellite radio are included in the mix. A couple of college radio stations struggled over the year to save their stations’ FM signal and banishment to an online-only existence. Meanwhile, radio is increasingly going mobile and the idea of Internet connectivity in automobiles continues to grow in popularity. As long as radio continues to adapt and take advantage of the digital age, however, it will continue to be a vital medium, noted Kyle Johnson, managing editor of radio content at Vocus Media Research Group.
Although the media industry continues to move away from the confinements of tradition, it is changing, growing and adapting to all the new platforms available. The industry will never be the same again, but its impact on the world is a strong as ever. For a deeper look into the changing world of media, the 2011 Vocus State of the Media Report provides analysis of the previous year as well as a peek into what’s to come. Stay tuned for its release in the next couple of weeks.
–Katrina M. Mendolera
Check out last year’s Vocus State of the Media Report below:
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