In 2000 the US newspapers had their best ever year with $65billion worth of ad revenue. Less than a decade later it had dropped 2/3 that value and as the graph below shows it continues in free fall and online revenue has not replaced the loss in print revenue.
If present trends continue then it is likely that by 2020, print revenue and online revenue combined will be around 20% of their peak in 2000.
To give an idea of the scale of that fall, to the right is the graph showing the Dotcom bubble bursting in 2000. That “massive” stock market movement can be seen as the small dip between 2000 and 2002 on the graph above. Although as large as the previous recession in the newspaper industry in 1993, it is completely dwarfed by events since 2004, the last year that the newspaper saw any grow in ad revenue before the collapse.
The cause of course is not hard to find. Whilst the internet had been around for many years, it was not until about 2004 that volumes really took off. Looking at some the major English language internet websites, we see the majority were either founded or floated around 2004-6
- Google 1996 – floated in 2004
- Facebook launched 2004
- Youtube founded 2005
- Yahoo – various
- Wikipedia – 2001
- Twitter – 2006
- Amazon founded 1994 – first profit 2001
- Ebay – 1995 floated 1998
And the rise in the internet generally, was mirrored by blog as shown to the left, from 2003 the number of blogs roughly doubling every six months. And again the most popular hosting sites for blogs mostly date from around 2003/4.
1. WordPress first appeared in 2003.
2. Blogger was bought by google in 2003.
3. Hubpages was lauched in 2006
4. Squarespace was launced in 2004.
But TV’s OK
Paradoxically, given the huge hit in advertising revenue of the press one might expect something similar to have happened to TV. But the statistics say otherwise. As the graph shows, if anything since 2003, people in the UK are watching more hours of TV.
And TV revenues in the US, have been fairly steady except the drop around the banking crisis of 2008.
So, the internet, has had a direct and catastrophic effect on the revenue of the printed press, whereas it has had almost no impact on TV revenue.
Why global warming took off: “That’s the power of money”
As I sat and wondered about this result, I knew that somewhere in here was very likely the cause of the global warming internet scare. Somehow, the loss in power of the press and the rise of “copy and paste” reporting instead of investigation was very likely linked to the rise of the global warming scare. But how? Then by chance I started watching this video:
And about 7 minutes in it hit me where it said:
THIS IS THE POWER OF MONEY.
IT IS WHAT 4.7BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR CAN BUY!
Of course! During those dark years after 2003 when the press experienced a rapid drop in revenue, not only would they have been desperate for any kind of news that might increase circulation, but individual journalists would be expected to produce more and more material.
And in that kind of environment, where a headline today was the difference between a job tomorrow or not, journalistic standards went out the window and they were more than happy to let other people write all the news they could get. They no longer cared about balance, they didn’t have the time or inclination to get “the other side”. All that counted was the money.
And the money talked. Those with integrity who didn’t jump on the scam bandwagon, didn’t get the headlines and were soon sacked. Qhereas those without integrity who printed the rubbish paid for government kept their job. In effect the government (by proxy through the NGOs and academics it funds) were now writing the newspapers and those journalists colluding with them were little better than pimps – peddling government funded climate porn.
I had been wondering why the mood on climate has changed and now I understand. The press have not stopped being pimps, but now we just expect them to behave that way. And worse, we’re all so fed up with the scam that even the porn they’ve been peddling has stopped bringing in the money.
The press, much reduced in importance, are now like some old worn out fat hag who long ago gave up her morality, shouting that she was once important and being ignored.
The press can now be largely ignored
So, in effect the warming scam was launched as the last desperate headline grabbing stunt in the final fall of the main stream press. Now they are being overtaken by the internet, and so the battle (or what is left) is between the TV and internet.