Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nick Denton: 'Flat Is The New Up? We Should Be So Lucky'

Gawker Media head Nick Denton has a lot to say about this recession we're in, and much of it is worrisome.

A concise, backed-up take on what Denton thinks is going to happen to Online Media in coming quarters:

To judge from a hysterical press, one might think the apocalypse was already upon the media industry: rolling cuts this month at Time Inc., the hallowed magazine group; a new catchphrase among advertising pundits, flat is the new up; and revisions even of the internet advertising that was supposed to be the salvation of the media industry. J.P. Morgan's Imran Kahn just slashed projected growth next year of US online display advertising from 16% to 6%.

We should be so lucky. These supposedly brutal layoffs at Time and other titles amount to only 6% of headcount at the bloated Time Warner magazine group. Other media groups such as the New York Times and Conde Nast—a hiring freeze, how callous!—are being even more squeamish. From conglomerates to internet ventures, executives should be planning now on a decline of up to 40% in advertising spending during this cycle. Instead they're sleepwalking into economic extinction—even those lean online ventures which were supposed to take up the mantle and preserve New York's position as a media capital.

His Machiavellian take to online publishers? Plan for the worst - now. How? Six ways:
  1. Get out of ad-averse topics like politics
  2. Renegotiate vendor contracts
  3. Consolidate titles
  4. Offshore more
  5. Variable compensation
  6. Offer more value for marketers
I don't agree with everything here, but Denton makes a good greater point: changes must happen soon, and they must be educated.

Read the post:
Doom-mongering: A 2009 Internet media plan

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