The cost of a full-page weekday ad in the print edition of the LA Times, reaching 500,000 people is about $50,000.
The cost of a ad on LATimes.com to reach the same 500,000 people is about $7,000.
The cost of an ad reaching 500,000 people that’s served up by Google and appears on LATimes.com can be as little as $20.
Looking at those figures, it’s easy to see why companies have all but moved completely to web-based advertising.
The problem is two-fold: First, when you pay for a subscription to a print product, you almost certainly read it… cover-to-cover. When you view web pages for news, you almost certainly either block the ads, or have grown so used to them that you don’t even see them. So while it’s cheaper to advertise on the web, it is my opinion that most companies are throwing their money away. They fall in love with social media shares/likes, click-through rates, page views, and a host of other analytics—but they fail to accept the only number that counts: sales!
The second problem is that due to the first, journalism has devolved into click-bait producing bloggers being paid $25 per post to “report the news.” They do this because they can’t afford to pay real journalists to investigate stories and spend time crafting something worth paying for. And because of that, I’m not willing to pay for it.
It’s a vicious circle.