The trend has been here for many years, but newspapers haven’t wanted to face it, and now many newspapers find themselves in serious trouble because revenue is dramatically down. Why? Because sellers are not willing to pay high advertising rates for zero results. Why are sellers unwilling to pay for newspaper advertising? Because the old style newspaper advertising doesn’t hook buyers anymore. Sorry newspapers, but times are changing.
One newspaper company, which I think is fairly representative of the newspaper industry, reported:
As the industry remains mired in a protracted decline in print advertising that has persisted for more than two years, Chief Executive Gary Pruitt said ad sales continue to look bleak in October. . . . Classified ad revenue has been a black hole for the industry since 2006, with particular weakness in the real estate, help-wanted and automotive categories. McClatchy said Tuesday that real estate ad revenue fell 37%, help-wanted by 43%, and automotive by 21%. ((MarketWatch, Oct. 21, 2008, read full article here.))
Circulation is substantially down, too. “Newspaper circulations are declining largely because of the ongoing migration of readers to the Internet. Despite the drops, newspapers are currently more worried about even steeper, double-digit reductions in advertising revenue caused largely by the weak economy.” ((Read Forbes Article))
The National Association of Realtors’ national survey indicated that over 80% of all homebuyers start their search on the Internet. Why not? It’s conventient, free, and can be done any time of day or night.
As I have written elsewhere, we are in a major transition in how real estate is bought and sold, and this transition of tidal wave proportions is dramatically effecting newspaper and magazine advertising. Unfortunately, newspapers have not been able to manage the paradigm shift. In fact, they have been reticent to admit it is even happening. Let me say this in a very simple way, no offense intended, but perhaps this will clearly make the point. “You cannot teach a cat to bark.” Traditional media really can’t figure this stuff out, try as they might. Many are trying all kinds of “things,” but you have to first understand the problem before you start unleashing wild solutions. There is now a huge “disconnect” between traditional print media and consumers.
The consumer figured this out, and the average consumer knows exactly how to search for what they want. You’ve got to love free enterprise and the power of the consumer. Consumers are changing an entire industry, and they are doing it without thinking about it. They’re just being rational and reasonable consumers in a free enterprise system that gives them freedom of choice.
For Buyers of real estate in Sequim and Port Angeles, I welcome you to what you found right here, articles about real estate, marketing, prices, foreclosures, negotiating the best price, and the ability to search the entire multiple listing service right from this site. Come to think of it, the fact that you are reading this article is proof of the power of the Internet.
Very truly yours,
Chuck Marunde, J.D., Broker/Realtor (retired real estate attorney)
Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate, LLC
618 South Peabody Street, Suite I
Port Angeles, WA 98362
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