Pew: Online Advertising Not Enriching Traditional News Publishers

The online ad train and its cargo of cash have buzzed right past traditional news publishers. That’s according to the latest published findings by Pew Research. On Monday, Pew reported that old-school publishers have largely failed to capitalize on the online advertising boom.

The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism carefully analyzed the websites of 11 newspapers, a handful of TV networks, and even the likes of Yahoo and the Huffington Post. According to the findings, “even the top news websites in the country have had little success getting advertisers from traditional platforms to move online.”

The digital advertising they do get appears to be standard ads that are available across many websites. And with only a handful of exceptions, the ads on news sites tend not to be targeted based on the interests of users, the strategy that many experts consider key to the future of digital revenue.

Between 2011 and 2015, revenue from digital advertising in the U.S. is projected to grow by 40% and will overtake all other platforms by 2016.

“Yet how much of that growth will go to underwrite news remains in doubt and throws into question the financial future of journalism as audience continue to migrate online,” a summary of the Pew report reads. “What will happen pivots in part on whether the news industry can move into the more lucrative areas of digital advertising, particularly using consumer data to target ads, persuading major legacy advertisers to also advertise online and moving into new revenue areas.”

The Pew report once again illustrates for the digital community that it remains increasingly difficult to teach old dogs new tricks.

To read the full report summary, click here.