Newspapers See No Threat from Web for Ad Dollars

Newspaper publishers from around the world see other newspapers, not the Web, as their primary competition for ad dollars, according to a recent survey.

Still, a majority (53.1%) of newspaper publishers said if their reporters were sitting on a major story they would break it immediately on their Web sites rather than hold the story for regular publication in the paper. The survey was taken among publishers who will attend the 25th Publicitas Promotion Network Conference in Miami this weekend.

Publicit as Promotion Network, a division of the Swiss company PubliGroupe, is an international promotion and management company for print and online advertising.

As important as the publishers regard their own web efforts, they don’t fear the Internet as primary competition for ad dollars. Other newspapers in their markets were seen as the biggest threat, followed by pan-regional or national newspapers, then television, direct marketing, then free publications and radio with Internet sites ranking near the bottom of all competitive media outlets.

“This heavy focus on print-centric competition may seem somewhat short-sighted given the hype of the Internet and media conversion,” said Dave Morgan, president of New York City-based Real Media, which operates a network of newspaper Web sites. “However, it likely reflects the reality of the marketplace, where the overwhelming majority of advertising expenditures are still projected to be within traditional media outlets for many years to come.”

More than half of the publishers said they were already selling Web advertising in combination with print buys (53.1 percent) with another 12.5 percent saying they are planning to sell these “print plus” combinations.

The online survey was conducted Web Statistics of Atlanta, GA during the past two months. Of the 32 publishers who participated in the survey the majority (72 percent) were based in Europe with 16 percent based in Asia, 10 percent based in the United States and 3 percent in Latin America.

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