What AOL and newspapers have in common
AOL, which has been hiring veteran editors and reporters, may have already succeeded becoming a serious news outlet. They have proven this by showing the kind of results we have come to expect from real news gathering organizations: Their ad revenues dropped 23% in the last quarter on top of a 26% drop in subscriptions. That puts them squarely in line with the some of the best newspapers in the US, which saw a 27% drop in ad revenue over all of 2009. Welcome to the big leagues guys! (IMHO: going from print to AOL is like fleeing from The Titanic to The Hindenburg.)
Speaking of newspapers: While print edition subscriptions continue to behave like cliff-diving lemmings, electronic editions are up 40% over last year! Surprisingly that is not all because of the Wall Street Journal (“…headed the list with 414,025 e-edition, slightly less than the next six papers combined…”). Most of the increase is because the numbers are generally so small it’s easy to get big percentage increases. NYT went up 107% to 90K; Houston Chronicle up 71% to 49K; Baltimore Sun up 121% to 27K. The overall 40% increase seems to be because of two weirdly large circulation increases: The San Jose Mercury News went up 469% from 14K to 80K, which is nothing compared to the Detroit Free Press: up 567% from 15K to 105K. The Mercury News increase sort of makes sense because of its tech-centric readership. But Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is up with the Free Press? Who knew unemployed auto workers wanted their news digitally? There is something really fishy about those numbers.
The Kindle is the preferred e-reader of liberal scum, by the way. The NYT, which has a quarter of the WSJ’s total online circ, is No. 1 on the list of papers Kindle readers subscribe to. (The Journal is No. 2.) And the Washington Post – which doesn’t have a 10th of the Journal’s online numbers – is 5th among Kindle users.
And guess what – Did you know that if you charge people to look at your content your page views will go down? I hope I didn’t shock you too much with that one. In other news: Kids like toys! Film at 11.