Chronicle Does Irony

Without a hint of irony, the Chronicle runs a really good piece on pay-per-click advertising the day after they publish an article announcing a 25% job cut at the newspaper in an effort to stem a long trail of losses.

Ironic because advertisers have been fleeing traditional newspapers for pay-per-click web advertising for all of the reasons that DeBare reports, including this rather obvious statement:

“Pay per click also gives businesses immediate feedback on whether their ads are succeeding at bringing potential customers to their Web site. They can change or halt their campaign at any time — something that’s not possible with traditional media like the Yellow Pages.”

She might has well have written “…traditional media like the Yellow Pages AND NEWSPAPERS.”

For the same reasons that small businesses no longer see any reason to run advertising in newspapers, individuals are posting on Craigslist because it’s effective and free, which dramatically lowers the risk of posting. Car and truck dealers are reaching their audience through other channels, even though they continue to be the single largest group of newspaper advertisers today.

Let’s face it, newspapers continue to rely on advertising as their primary revenue source yet the vehicle they deliver those ads and the mechanism by which advertisers measure and pay for ads has changed little over the years. This is why I wrote yesterday that the business of journalism is as bright as ever but the business of newspapers is screwed.

UPDATE: In a timely post, Sramana Mitra delves into advances in online advertising networks.

Now, the reason I am so excited about technology players like Adify, is that they will hasten the move of old media players like Time Warner into the Ad Network business, which has so far been a duopoly dominated by Google Adsense and Yahoo Publishers Network, with a few smaller new entrants.

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