Journos really should know where the money comes from

Catherine Bennett seems not to understand the economics of her own industry.

\”It proved scant consolation to the frugal camp that, reading him online, they had not contributed a penny towards his upkeep.\”

You know, you might want to have a word with the money side of GMG there.

There are advertisements on this page, as there are on all other pages of the site. GMG does receive money for showing those advertisements to us readers.

Sadly, no, I don\’t know the exact figures for GMG. I do know some rough ones for similar sites. £10-£20 per thousand page views perhaps? No, not per ad, but the cumulative payments for the several ads which are on each page?

So, if George is paid £60k a year, he needs to provide 6 million page views per year to cover his direct cost. Yes, this is ignoring the infrastructure cost and so on, merely illustrative.

125,000 page views per weekly article. No, I don\’t know whether he does do that but it\’s certainly entirely achievable. In fact, I\’d be amazed if George wasn\’t providing 6 million page views a year to The Guardian site. After all, a simple personal blog out there can do over 1 million a year (mine does).

I have to admit I\’m always amazed by journos who don\’t seem to know where the money comes from. The cover price of a newspaper or magazine usually just about covers the printing and distribution costs. Paying for the actual content has always come from selling the advertising. Now we read online (no print or distribution costs, or at least comparatively low ones) but we still see the ads which the newspaper gets paid for.

2 thoughts on “Journos really should know where the money comes from”

  1. On a very technical point:
    “There are advertisements on this page, as there are on all other pages of the site. GMG does receive money for showing those advertisements to us readers.”
    Is that the page view, simple, the GMG gets the moolah for or the page view with ads?
    I’ve always made a point of Adblocking every single ad on the Graun site (including even their ‘in-house ads, the readers’ offers stuff) in the hope I’m denying them the slightest benefit from my visits. Conversely, I suffer the rather strange ads for curious Spanish obsessions that grace this one because I presume you’re earning off of them.
    Is that how it works?

  2. “The cover price of a newspaper or magazine usually just about covers the printing and distribution costs”

    That’s interesting, because that means that the financial model of internet newspapers is exactly the same as the financial model of the paper copy.

    Both cover the cost of printing and distribution through sales or subscriptions (those costs being zero (or close enough to) for online). Both need to cover the cost of the writers, overheads and profits (if any) through advertising.

    Which stands on its head the common claim that online newspapers are a new financial model.

    Tim adds: I think it was the LA Times (note, think) which said that internet covered newsroom costs. US papers are a bit different though as they had a third income stream, classifieds, which got eaten by Craigslist. UK national (as opposed to local) papers haven’t relied on that for a century.

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