OPINION: EDITOR’S COMMENT - Time to accept the threat of the new kids in town

No established medium is ever going to lose revenue to the internet, no-one is suffering at the hands of the direct marketers, and no-one feels threatened by public relations or ambient media. At least that’s the traditional media owners’ story.

No established medium is ever going to lose revenue to the

internet, no-one is suffering at the hands of the direct marketers, and

no-one feels threatened by public relations or ambient media. At least

that’s the traditional media owners’ story.



Non-traditional media are expanding at an incredible rate. PR has grown

globally at well over 10 per cent a year for the last five years, while

internet ad revenues have risen 139 per cent in the last 12 months. Yet,

if we are to believe the public statements of TV, radio, magazine,

newspaper and poster owners, none of the above pose much of a

threat.



How can that be? The argument put forward by defensive traditional media

pundits is that the new-media are creating fresh business rather than

cannibalising the old. While this would make for a media utopia, it

seems improbable in the long run.



Most marketing budgets continue to rise year on year, but there are

obviously limits to their growth - especially in industries such as

tobacco and motoring where profit estimates have been revised downwards

in recent years. And it takes only one cautious statement from the Right

Honourable Chancellor to have people further pegging back those

budgets.



And markets do change. There is increasing evidence that recruitment

advertising - the staple diet of many business magazines - is shifting

online. Some traditional media, VNU for example, are responding by

rapidly ramping up their web presence, as evidenced by the launch of

Accountancy Age.com this week.



They are doing the right thing. The non-traditional media are having an

impact and the ostrich brigade might do well to hatch a few new ideas of

their own.



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