iPhone this, iPhone that..., Nokia this,... nokia that... Advertisement "journalism".
As a business owner I understand the need to make money rather well - as unfortunate as it is, money remains a necessity in life. Maybe you should indeed do what most newspapers do, sell the ad-space at PREMIUM rates...
Have you checked what a half decent newspaper - let alone a major one - charges for HALF a PAGE of colour advertisment? Now those are nice sums of money. And it gets "better" with the number of iterations, or prominent weekday-issues or the further to the front or closer to a specific related section such placements go.
And whilst I hate that some good news papers are basically 40% advertisment by volume - at least it's clear and there's no mistaking.
Unfortunately it doesn't work like that - print is much, much more expensive as an advertising medium (despite its poor targeting and lack of measurement). For large news orgs like the NYT group 90% of the audience is online, yet 90% of the revenue comes from print.
Measured in CPM terms (cost per thousand) a major metro newspaper can charge anything from $80 to $150, whereas online ads start at about $0.20, rising to about $30 for the really high impact multimedia placements (which we won't generally run because they're unpopular with our visitors).
There's such fierce competition (and such a glut of inventory) it is almost impossible to charge more than the market average for online ads because there's always another, cheaper way to reach the same audience. To increase our ad revenue significantly we'd need to run far more intrusive ads, make you watch videos before you can read the content, use pop-ups or other interruptions, and we're not ready to take that step.
I'd also mention that the idea of a web page giving 40% of its pages to advertising (or even being able to charge end users for the privilege of viewing those ads) is a non-starter. Maybe this will change in the future, though I doubt it.
You know I have not directly said that you do take money - I have made an implication into the fact that I could speculate about the motives.
And I do believe you that you do as you say and indeed to dont accept direct payment of any kind for said editorial content. But as mentioned, it then makes it a lot more questionable as to what you have to gain from publishing what you label "as not your finest hour".
It was a bit of fluff, nothing more. If we had revenue like some national newspaper groups that ran into the hundreds of millions of dollars maybe we could afford to make every single item we post into a groundbreaking piece of investigative journalism. But we don't, so sometimes we put light items like this (which take minutes and get good traffic) on the homepage to keep it moving.
Maybe if you finally ask for compensation for these editorials a LOT OF GOOD can come from it:
- either the companies jump ship... then there's no more editorials and the TIME you waste on them can be put to more important aspects (such as the reviews which bring in the majority of the viewers I guess).
- If the companies sign of on it: MORE MONEY..... everybody will understand. No one can accuse you of that anymore. And the money can be used to produce a lot more high-quality content such as the reviews (or god forbid actual investigative journalism).
1. we will never accept payment for editorial content. That's a slippery slope we're not going to head down.
2. If you're looking for investigative journalism I suggest you're in the wrong place. We review cameras and report on interesting things happening in the world of digital imaging. That's our remit.
Simon Joinson, Editor-in-chief
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