Media Beat: July 26, 2019
By David Farrell
Google parent Alphabet's stock price leapt Thursday after reporting stronger-than-expected results driven by gains in online advertising.
The internet giant said profits tripled in the second quarter from a year earlier to $9.9 billion while revenues increased 19 percent to $38.9 billion. – AFP
Cable news revenue has grown by roughly a third (36%) since 2015, with ad revenue up 58% over the same period. And unlike some other sectors that typically see revenue declines in non-election years, cable news has been on a steady rise since the 2016 election. Some of this revenue has flowed back into newsroom spending, which has risen 22% since 2015. However, employment in cable TV newsrooms has not risen, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, and neither have wages.
U.S. newspaper circulation reached its lowest level since 1940, the first year with available data.
Digital ad revenue has grown exponentially, but a majority goes to Facebook and Google rather than to publishers.
The audience for local TV news has steadily declined. The average audience fell in key time slots in 2018, down 10% for morning news and 14% for late night and evening news
Traffic to news websites seems to have leveled off. Unique visitors to the websites of both newspapers and digital-native news sites showed no growth between the fourth quarters of 2017 and 2018, the second year in which there was no notable growth. – Michael Barthel, FactTank
The similarities between the streaming revolutions in both games and video are becoming increasingly pertinent. While the popularity of video game content has long lived in the shadow of the larger audience sizes enjoyed by television and movies, the increasing intensity of audience engagement with games through platforms like Twitch and titles like Fortnite has led some of the top sellers to generate more revenue than the top movies at the box office. Video games are now on course to catch up with video streaming as the highest usage of global internet traffic. This transition will likely be aided by increasing demand for esports combined with the launch of 5G mobile networks. These factors stand to make the coming games streaming revolution as economically significant as that of television. – Farid Ben Amor, World Economic Forum