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Sneak Peek: State of the Media Report 2012

For our newest findings, check out the State of the Media 2016 Report!

*Due to the SOPA hearings, we’ve postponed the release of the State of the Media Report 2012 to Monday, Jan 23rd.*

As the PR industry awaits the 2012 Vocus State of the Media report, here’s a peek at some of the highlights from inVocus Editor-in-Chief, Katrina Mendolera. This post originally appeared on the InVocus Blog.

If 2010 was a year of experimentation, then 2011 was a year for the cultivation of previous new media endeavors. In the past year we’ve seen the adoption of mobile applications steadily increase; social media become a standard practice; and models like the paywall continue to be trendy. Here is a sneak peek at some of 2011’s hottest highlights from the upcoming 2012 Vocus State of the Media Report.


On par with 2010’s 151 newspaper closures, 152 papers folded in 2011. Of the papers that closed, not one major daily went under – the first year since 2009 a top-tiered paper didn’t shut down. Although online news sources still dominated launches, heavyweight Patch.com’s growth slowed and several sites are even slated to merge. Meanwhile, other hyperlocal online publishers like Main Street Connect and Elauwit Media threw their metaphorical hat into the hyperlocal ring. Paywalls grew in popularity, and were adopted by big name publications such as the Dallas Morning News, New York Times and Baltimore Sun. Despite growth in print launches, layoffs at large and mid-sized newsrooms numbered high into the hundreds. Looking ahead into 2012, look for newspapers to continue to merge print and digital operations.


Including both online and print, there were a total of 195 magazine launches in 2011 with consumer launches taking a modest hit. Overall, titles of all types closed in the past year, although the number was small compared to previous years. Magazines continued to embrace the iPad, using it not only to draw readers digitally, but also to print products by offering free access to the tablet version with the purchase of print editions. One significant launch within the industry included Social Media Monthly. “We found it interesting that a magazine about social media decided to create a print version. It just goes to show that the print landscape is less cluttered and it’s easier to stand out and get people’s full attention in a curated hard copy,” said Rebecca Bredholt, managing editor of magazine content at Vocus Media Research Group.


Growth into Hispanic markets continued in 2011, and eventually leveled out as all the major markets now have at least one Spanish-language TV network available. Meanwhile, online streaming of television shows and newscasts continued to increase. Video on station websites now provides viewers with additional news not previously available through a normal newscast, making TV news consumption a more comprehensive experience. Additionally, some networks returned to traditional practices when they revived investigative journalism. In 2012, look for the TV industry to continue adapting content to mobile devices.


Traditional radio continued to show itself a survivor throughout 2011, despite evidence that the majority of people prefer to get their news elsewhere. In all four quarters, reports were released showing growth in radio listenership. Streaming radio services are increasingly doing well, however, and have seen growth in the number of subscribers. This could go a long way toward more active installation of Pandora in vehicles. Radio will continue to become more interactive in 2012, and ride the digital wave along with the other traditional mediums.


Although there were plenty of changes within the media industry, much of 2011 was a continuation of 2010. Experiments that were new in 2010 gained ground in 2011, as outlets implemented and fine-tuned new media models. The crossover between mediums had led inevitably to media outlets looking increasingly like hybrids. And yet traditional media still exists despite the whirlwind of change that has happened over the course of the last several years.

For an in-depth analysis, make sure to check out the 2012 Vocus State of the Media Report, slated for release Jan. 19.

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