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Google Bigger Than Magazine, Newspaper Industries

Posted on Friday, November 29, 2013 at 5:57 PM

In the news: Google ad revenues have now surpassed the entire magazine and newspaper industries.

A recently BusinessInsider.com infographic is making a big splash. The bar graph, which shows ad revenues from 2004 to the present fiscal quarter, tracks ad revenues for the newspaper industry, the magazine industry, and Google. Until 2012, the numbers weren't particularly remarkable, but then Google ad revenues overtook both the magazine and newspaper industries in 2012 (and continued to do so in the first half of 2013).

MarketingPilgrim.com reacts to this with a certain measure of resignation: "One company is bigger than two separate industries? Why not? It's the Internet Age and all bets are off." Given the current trajectory, BusinessInsider.com predicts that "it won't be long now ... before Google not only eclipses magazines but also becomes bigger than magazines ever were -- even when there was no Internet to compete with." Read more about the data here and here.

Also Notable

The Real Digital Publishing Picture?

Is our understanding of the digital publishing landscape limited? D. B. Hubbard of TalkingNewMedia.com thinks so. First, Hubbard writes, "audit reports and publisher's statements reflect only a small portion of the digital publication universe -- and an increasingly shrinking portion." Not only is there a constant influx of new digital magazines into the newsstands, but many of the new entrants aren't yet audited.

Slowly but surely, Hubbard, writes, "replica editions" are cutting into print's share in the overall circulation. A chart in his article shows a meteoric climb in digital distribution since 2010 for six major magazines (including Cosmopolitan, Wired, and Vanity Fair). Read more of his analysis here.

"Ambidextrous" Magazine Publishing

A recent NPR piece discusses the success of The American Reader, a self-proclaimed "ambidextrous" print and digital literary magazine that features poetry, literary criticism, and fiction. Cofounder Uzoamaka Maduka discusses her philosophy on publishing, which revolves around the idea that today's readers still want in-depth, longer-form content. The magazine keeps its digital content behind a paywall and pays its writers so as not to "devalue" their work. Read more about the magazine here.

Forbes for Sale

According to various news outlets, Forbes Media (which publishes the nearly century-old Forbes magazine) is currently for sale. The company is expected to fetch roughly $400 million. Read more of the available details here and here.

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