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The Tide has turned

by Jeni Bone on 27 Jul 2011
Customers are reading and buying online. .. ©
Your market is online - why aren't you? Advertisers are flocking to digital, aware their most active consumers are looking for news and researching before buying using the Internet as their preferred medium. And for the first time, figures show digital has surpassed print as the preferred medium for news.

2011 is a milestone year for digital media. A recent US report into media consumption showed that for the first time, the percentage of people who say they get news online at least three times a week has surpassed newspapers.

According to the ‘State of the News Media’ (http://stateofthemedia.org/) survey compiled by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a research organization that evaluates and studies the performance of the press, news consumption online increased 17 per cent in 2010 from 2009. By December, 41 per cent of Americans said they got most of their news about national and international issues on the Internet, more than double the rise of the year prior.

The annual survey attributed this to the rapid growth of smartphones and electronic tablets which are making the Internet the destination of choice for consumers looking for news.

Commenting on the results, project director Tom Rosenstiel said: 'People are just becoming accustomed to having the Internet available in their pockets on phones or small tablets.'

Advertising revenue is migrating online at a rapid rate and online ad revenue surpassed print newspaper ad revenue for the first time during 2010.

Australia’s major print media proponents, among them James Packer, Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Stokes are investing hand over fist in digital and tablet media, as are the magazine sector, radio, TV and just about every niche medium there is on the landscape.

Simon Davies, Head of Publishing at media agency, OMD says the GFC has impacted on the entire consumer magazine market, as well as other traditional media, and as long as consumer focus is on shorter term retail activity, 'mediums that deliver more immediate results with shorter deadlines' are profiting.

And while all publishers are investing in 'interactive brand experiences' for their publications – translated as digital reincarnations with video and opportunity for readers to gain 'value added' features such as free extras, prizes and fun or entertaining diversions sponsored by a brand – those mastheads which have occupied the online space for longest are already steps ahead.

Media magnate Kerry Stokes believes printed newspapers could be gone in as few as 10 years, due to the rise of online new sources. He refers to printed newspapers were a 'sunset industry'.

The billionaire’s comments came at a business briefing in Perth earlier this year, to announce the West Australian Newspaper Holdings Ltd's (WAN) planned $4.085 billion acquisition of Seven Media Group. Stokes is the chairman of both WAN and Seven Group Holdings Ltd, the owner of Seven Media Group.

In his speech, Stokes said 'neither technology nor youth will wait' for print media to catch up. The only route to profit and relevance is 'producing news both visually and written online, instantly, to deliver news as they (consumers) want and when they want'.

The largest marine news group in the world TetraMedia publisher of Sail-World.com, MarineBusiness-World.com, Powerboat-world.com knows the trend.

Publisher Rob Kothe just back from meetings with the TetraMedia North American team commented. 'The online publishing world is advancing rapidly and it is not a place for inexperienced players.

'This year we will celebrate our 14th year delivering marine news content online. We have the audience, the technology and experience to stay well ahead of the latecomers.

‘We launched online in 1997 and it seems a long time ago that Rupert Murdoch predicted the printing presses would one day turn off and plainly this day is coming faster than anyone expected.

‘We are seeing marine magazine titles disappearing, amalgamating and reducing issues numbers, ever while putting on a brave face, struggling to get traction with newly developed websites that continues to lose ground while our very much established online group continues to draw larger and larger audiences.

'Last week our top daily audience was 29,500 readers, with three other days over 23,000.

'As boaters continue to vote with their mouses, the TetraMedia boat show media team, in Australia, 11-strong this year, plans to bring our readers of MarineBusiness-World.com, Powerboat-World.com, Sail-World.com and FishingBoat-World.com online publications all the colour, innovation, personalities and trends of this year's largest Asia Pacific Boat Show event, by video reporting and interviewing.

'The team will comprise Jeni Bone, Mark Rothfield, Rob Kothe, Nancy Knudsen, Phil Arane, Mark Cherrington, John Curnow, Daryl Krasu, Bob Wonders, Sara Vincent and Steven Sun.

'We will be conducting dozens and dozens of interviews across the show - a tangible indication of the demand for immediate access to relevant, authoritative online news and features.

Kothe continued 'The use of mobile devices is rapidly expanding our audiences. Our iPad site versions are proving very popular and over the next 10 days, our latest site upgrades in iPhone, Android and Blackberry versions will be online.

'Technology advances now allow our world-wide marine audience see 24x7 local news (and hence local advertising) wherever they are – on land, at sea and now from air! One of our US editors last week sent a newsletter to his US subscribers on a Chicago-Miami flight.'

Currently Sail-World.com has 45,000 North American online newsletter subscribers across its racing and cruising sites in the USA and Canada, another 45,000 in the Asia Pacific and 20,000 in UK, Europe and Africa. The last of these is our fastest growing market, as the London Olympics approaches.

By the end of 2011, we will be delivering feature articles, video both interviews and action, images and news to 250,000 readers each month via 25 different versions of our websites (mobile and geolocated).

With that significant audience, we have the ability for industry advertisers to chose regional markets, decide their own advertising schedules and change their own advertising content.

The large online audiences, the delivery of local and international content 24x7, anywhere, anytime is why advertisers must follow their customers online.

'Beyond that, companies wishing to further expose the TetraMedia audience to its promotional and commercial news need to contact our media sales representatives, who will be happy to quote on a range of very cost effective media packages,' added Kothe.

For Asian industry groups please call Guy Nowell +852 9680 7063 or email asiaeditor (at) sail-world.com for more details

For Australian companies call Phil Arane 0407 076 585 or email Phil (at) trademediaservices.com.au
For New Zealand companies call Colin Preston +6421 267 4842 or email nzsales (at) sail-world.com
For North American, UK and European companies call Greg Nicol 877-620-9373 or email gnicol(at)kerrwil.com
UK and European companies contact Jeraldine Kennedy +44 20 3286 3390 or email jeraldine.kennedy(at)sail-world.com
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