Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Media Monitoring Traditional vs New Media the rule of 40-40

It is the Rule of 40-40… 40 % of the papers in Mississippi have websites that are updated regularly, of that 40% they only include 40% of the content. Now this is an average, and as we papers progress there are more and more websites for newspapers. But the newspapers are protecting their content & subscription base from the web by not publishing everything that they have so that they will retain some of their subscribers.

40% of 40% is 16% ---------So only 16% of what is published actually makes it to the web.

The methodology that I used to get these numbers was taking a single newspaper and clipping every article out of the paper and searching for those articles on the website.

I automatically excluded ads (Advertisements are completely different on the internet than they are in print)
I automatically excluded AP stories (Associated Press stories can be included on website, but the paper must pay for those stories to run there -
I automatically excluded classifieds (Classifieds are different that what is on the internet, and frankly classified revenues are going down the tubes since the advent of craigslist and eBay)
I included what was left, original articles, sports news, TV listings, entertainment and Calendars from that paper only are an average only 40%. Realistically the hard news is only about 20% of the paper’s original content.

I have not done such studies with TV and Radio websites but they have to be much lower than print. So in a sales call or a reply to a blog posting, I respond with the following. This is a typical explanation for why marketers and PR professionals need to include newspaper clipping & broadcast monitoring services in their tool belt in addition to Google / Yahoo alerts and other online monitoring services. But know you as well as I do that perception of what the client’s needs are different from reality.

Actually Google only monitors and indexes about 4500 news sites with Google alerts. The reality of matter is that as the newspaper industry is fighting with how to create revenue and fighting the online new media threat they are actually holding back many of the stories from their websites. The truth of the matter is that not every newspaper has a website with content it is actually about 40% but growing of that 40% they only post 40% of the content. You must exclude AP stories, ads, classifieds, and most sports stories. So 40% of 40% is 16. 16% of what is printed actually makes it to the paper. The same is true with TV sites as well, but even less of the coverage is on the web. Radio stations mostly have promotions and contest and virtually no news content. Twitter is easy to monitor but not understood by 85% of the population. You do the math. Is an online monitoring service with FREE tools going to compare with media research professionals that actually know the news. I don’t think so. Check out http://newsmediamonitoring.blogspot.com or http://www.magnoliaclips.com for more in-depth information about this topic.