Business news industry grows, but will ad dollars follow?
Brian Steinberg of Advertising Age writes Monday that with the business news category expanding due to the launch of Fox Business Network, the question is whether the ad dollars spent in the segment will grow as well.
Steinberg wrote, “These financial-news outlets give blue-chip advertisers such as Microsoft Corp., General Motors Corp., IBM and AT&T the chance to reach a valuable demographic — chiefly upscale, older men. Consolidation among financial-services firms and technology companies make keeping the coffers full these days a much tougher task.
“‘I’m not sure there’s room to grow the audience,’ said Tim Spengler, chief activation officer at Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Initiative. Without investor euphoria to drive market expansion, he said, business media will have to steal consumers and ad dollars from each other as part of ‘a zero-sum game.’
“Indeed trends show a choppy category. Ad spending in 2006 at CNBC fell about 29.2% from 2004, according to TNS Media Intelligence (the figures reflect spending on the core media property, not across all venues). In the same time period, ad spending fell about 7.8% at Fortune and about 15% at BusinessWeek. Meanwhile, ad spending is up about 5.5% at Forbes and about 18.4% at The Wall Street Journal. Some of the biggest advertisers in the publications are the companies that own them. The Journal’s biggest advertiser in 2006 was its corporate parent, and Forbes Inc. was one of Forbes’ five biggest sponsors in the same year, according to TNS.”
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