The decline of printed newspapers during the last decade has been well chronicled. An earlier post called The Future of Digital Media referred readers to a slide deck compiled by Business Intelligence. BI indicates that print-newspaper advertising revenue has declined more than 60 percent in the last decade as people got more and more of their news over the Internet and from mobile devices.
A 2012 survey by the Pew Foundation called Trends in News Consumption confirms this trend. It also indicates that television news may be vulnerable now, too. The reason: a growing tendency among young people to consume news online.
Pew found that “Perhaps the most dramatic change in the news environment has been the rise of social networking sites. The percentage of Americans saying they saw news or news headlines on a social networking site yesterday has doubled – from 9% to 19% – since 2010. Among adults younger than age 30, as many saw news on a social networking site the previous day (33%) as saw any television news (34%), with just 13% having read a newspaper either in print or digital form.”
As younger people move online, they leave television news with an increasingly older audience.
My take: In a personal essay elsewhere on this site, I discuss generational conflicts in media preferences. Changing demographics of the evening network news shows have changed their advertiser base. Long gone are the BMW commercials. Viagra, Cialis and other drug commercials aimed at seniors have replaced them.
Prescription drug advertising has become so prevalent, one wonders whether it is a reflection or a cause of the shows’ aging demographics. Personally speaking, I feel a little self-conscious when – with my family – Cialis commercials come on. It makes me wonder whether the younger people in the room are thinking, “Does he or doesn’t he?” Hey, when they start advertising adult diapers on the evening news, I’m out of there. You’ll find me getting all my news online, too!