News Industry Faces Challenges in Race for Digital Advertising Revenue

Feb 13, 2012

Although revenue from digital advertising in the U.S. is expected to grow significantly in the next few years, major news organizations still face challenges in trying to harness that trend and ensure their financial futures as audiences continue to migrate online.

Even the top news websites in the country have had little success getting advertisers from traditional platforms to move online, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. 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.

The study of 22 news operations found that only three showed significantly levels of targeting and two others had shown some movement in this direction. This stood in contrast to the highly targeted advertising is already a key component of the business model of operations such as Google and Facebook.

Read the full report, Who Advertises on News Sites and How Much Those Ads Are Targeted, on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

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