The State of the News Media 2014 (USA)

In many ways, 2013 and early 2014 brought a level of energy to the news industry not seen for a long time. Even as challenges of the past several years continue and new ones emerge, the activities this year have created a new sense of optimism – or perhaps hope – for the future of American journalism. Digital players have exploded onto the news scene, bringing technological knowhow and new money and luring top talent,

heisst es in der elften Ausgabe des vom Pew Research Center herausgegebenen Jahresberichts zur Lage der amerikanischen News-Branche zuversichtlich. (Für eine Besprechung der ersten Ausgabe s. hier)

Rund 5000 redaktionelle Vollzeitstellen seien von den in der Studie berücksichtigten 468 «digital news outlets» geschaffen worden, die meisten davon in den letzten paar Jahren. Grössere Player wie etwa die «Huffington Post», «Buzzfeed» oder «Vice» würden dabei inbesondere auch gezielt in einen Ausbau der Auslandberichterstattung investieren. Dies im Gegensatz zu den traditionellen Medien, wo − und jetzt folgt der erste Dämpfer − der Anteil internationaler Nachrichten nach wie vor im Abnehmen begriffen sei:

The amount of airtime network evening newscasts devoted to overseas reporting in 2013 was less than half of what it was in the late 1980s. International reporters working for U.S. newspaper have declined 24% from 2003 to 2010.

Und überhaupt:

The new money from philanthropists, venture capitalists and other individuals and non-media businesses, while promising, amounts to only a sliver of the money supporting professional journalism. Traditional advertising from print and television still accounts for more than half of the total revenue supporting news, even though print ad revenues are in rapid decline. While seeing some small gains in new revenue streams like digital subscriptions and conferences, total newspaper advertising revenue in 2012 (the last year that full data are available) was down 52% from 2003.

Und dennoch beanspruchen Tageszeitungen und Fernsehen (inkl. deren Online-Ableger) laut dem Bericht den Löwenanteil der rund um journalistische Nachrichtenangebote entstehenden Werbeinnahmen immer noch für sich, während es die untersuchten «Digital-only»-Projekte derzeit auf gerade einmal 1%-2% des Kuchens bringen.

Knapp ein Viertel (24% bzw. 15 Mia. Dollar) des Umsatzes im nachrichtenjournalistischen Bereich werden auf dem Nutzermarkt generiert (Abonnemente etc.), mehr als zwei Drittel davon (10,4 Mia. Dollar) fallen dabei der Tagespresse und deren digitalen Angeboten zu. Konferenzen, E-Commerce-Aktivitäten, Marketingdienstleistungen u.ä. steuern weitere 7% zum Gesamtumsatz der News-Branche bei.

Zur wachsenden Bedeutung der Einnahmen aus dem Nutzermarkt heisst es im Bericht:

After several years of hesitation, the newspaper industry in 2012 moved heavily into digital subscription plans, also known as paywalls. These paywalls helped the newspaper industry raise circulation revenue by 5% in 2012, the first gain in subscription revenue since 2003. […] Still, these new digital dollars fall short of making up for the loss in print subscription revenues, leading many newspapers to also increase their subscription and single-copy prices. […]

One question that arises is whether the growth in audience-related news revenue comes more from a larger number of people paying for news, or from fewer people paying higher prices.

The data suggest that it is more of the latter. The number of pay-TV households in the U.S. is tapering off, and the number of newspaper subscriptions (both Sunday and weekday) are flat, as are paid subscriptions to weekly newspapers […].Yet the cost per consumer for these media continues to rise.

Und noch ein paar «Snippets» aus dem Kapitel «The Growth in Digital Reporting & What it Means for Journalism and News Consumers»

  • Those 468 [digital-only] outlets — the vast majority of which started in the past decade — have produced almost 5,000 full-time editorial jobs While that does not represent a complete census of a digital news world, it is a robust a sample as may be possible from a variety of credible sources.
    Still, purely in terms of bodies, the growth in new digital full-time journalism jobs seems to have compensated for only a modest percentage of the lost legacy jobs in newspaper newsrooms alone in the past decade. From 2003 to 2012, the American Society of News Editors documented a loss of 16,200 full-time newspaper newsroom jobs [von 54’000 auf 38’000 Stellen] while Ad Age recorded a decline of 38,000 magazine jobs, which includes all jobs for the entire consumer magazine sector.
  • But the question of whether digital news outlets can ultimately replenish the loss of legacy jobs and reporting resources hinges on creating the kind of successful business model or models that have proved elusive. Many native digital outlets are still unprofitable and there is a finite supply of billionaires willing to spend $250 million on a startup. Most analysts say this growing investment in digital news does not mean the industry has figured out a consistent formula for monetizing that news.

… und aus dem Kapitel News Video on the Web: Development & Challenges:

  • More than six in ten U.S. adults now watch videos online – and roughly half of those, 36% of all U.S. adults, watch news videos […].
  • Nine in ten 18-to-29-year-olds (90%) watch online videos, compared with 80% of 30-to-49-year-olds, 49% of 50-to-64-year-olds and just 20% of those 65 or older. What’s more surprising, perhaps, is the degree to which news is in the mix of what they watch. Fully, 48% of all 18-to-29-year-olds in the U.S. watch news videos online, roughly equal to the 49% of 30-to-49-year-olds who watch news videos online and substantially more than those 50 and older. This speaks to the idea that there could be opportunities in the digital realm for young people to get news at similar rates as their older cohorts – something that has not been the case in most legacy news platforms like newspapers and television.
  • […] a closer look suggests that digital news video does not necessarily have a clear or simple path to becoming a major form of news in the future. Producing high-quality video – or even streaming it live – can be costly, and the payoff is not clear. Video advertising, while on the rise, amounts to just 10% of all digital ad revenue and just 2% of total ad revenue. Large distributors of video content like YouTube already account for a large portion of video watching on the web, and a hefty share of the revenue.

Und schliesslich noch eine Grafik aus dem Abschnitt 8 Key Takeaways about Social Media and News:

  • Facebook and search are critical for bringing added eyeballs to individual stories, but people who come to a site directly show far higher levels of engagement and loyalty. This remains true for even the most socially oriented news sites.


PS: Zahlreiche weiter Facts & Figures sind in der Media & News Indicators Database zu finden.

von Martin Hitz | Kategorie: Medienschau

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