More on Newspapers, The Media and Monopoly

This Google “Monopoly” claim the traditional media is throwing out there simply will not leave me alone.  Here’s a starter:

Newspaper Group Slams Google-Yahoo Ad Deal

Besides the “pot calling the kettle black” aspect of it all, the worst part is that the local newspapers (they are the ones getting hurt the most by Google AdWords) are screaming bloody murder because the Google ads WORK so well for the small businessperson.  There is a lot of jealousy there because the vaunted classified ads from newspapers’ heyday no longer work for the small businessperson as they once did. Not to mention that the local newspaper used to be the monopoly in that area (see my previous post).

Bear this in mind, though newspapers stopped pulling a decade ago as they once had for many businesses and the readership demographic got older and older, the price never stopped going up!

Many – most – small businesses (I was a retailer in those days) simply stopped paying it and left the papers. Why?

It did not work.

Small businesspeople have to eat. They have to pay employees who have to eat. It HAS to work. That is business. That is life.

Now read with me this statement that galled me so much this week from the article above:

The deal could adversely impact the economy and the newspaper business in at least three ways, according to O’Reilly. Less competition in the online advertising space means less revenue, according to WAN. “The proposed deal will fatally weaken Yahoo as a competitor for these deals,” according to a WAN communique on the issue. “Advertisers will increasingly migrate to Google since they will see diminishing price advantages to advertising through Yahoo. Yahoo will then have fewer of its own ads to serve and therefore less ability to offer a better deal than Google.”

This decreased revenue will then lead to increased costs, WAN said. The majority of traffic to news Web sites comes from paid and natural search through search engines….

All this will lead to a greater dependence on Google, WAN said. “By handing Google control of up to 90 percent of paid search and content advertising, Google will exert tremendous power over both newspapers’ ability to reach readers and their ability to generate online advertising revenue,” the group said.

Did I read that right?

The reason that the Google-Yahoo deal is bad is that it will decrease the competition for Google so that Google can then raise advertising prices for advertisers (read-small businesses) – (or raise the paid search costs to the newspapers themselves, which increasingly have to resort to Google paid ads to get people to their own sites ? They don’t even know how to optimize to get the free, organic search traffic when they have thousands of pages of content and should be pulling them in in droves – for free!

– Don’t get me started.

That sounds like a blatant admission by newspapers that they have lost the ability to get an audience by themselves. Add that to the fact that they cannot deliver the proper demographic readership to small business advertisers and they are complaining because Google (and increasingly Google-Yahoo) CAN?

Did you catch that line? “Google will exert tremendous power over both newspapers’ ability to reach readers and their ability to generate online advertising revenue.”

It is called competition. It is not about newspapers’ “revenue.” It is about small businesses living or dying.

Radical concept.

I thought the idea was to invent a better mousetrap? Did I hear it wrong or was the saying that the world would then beat a path to your door?

Sounds like the newspapers are wasting their time trying to barricade the path.

Oh, by the way, neither Google nor Yahoo “set” the prices for paid search. It is an auction. The market bidding sets the price.  And that same market that invented the Googles and the Yahoos, if it gets too expensive or the ads stop working, can invent other solutions! The Internet makes it pretty easy.

That is what hurts the newspapers the most. Everyone has a press now.

Come to think of it that same marketplace also invented newspapers, once upon a time.

I really do love newspapers.    See my other posts.

But it is high time for the marketplace to reinvent them.

Leave a Reply