You hear the phrase “print is dying” more and more lately, particularly in the digital fora. According to Paper Cuts, a site that tracks newspaper closings, 176 broadsheets across the country have either undergone a full digital transition or been completely eliminated since 2009. In the magazine world, the number of titles put to rest is in the hundreds each year. And yet, despite the trend towards everything digital, brands have been slow to invest their advertising dollars in anything other than traditional print media–and, of course, television. In fact, since 2009, even with the rise of digital, these three have seen a collective seven percent increase in advertising growth.


One explanation for this has to do with consumer confidence. Or, more aptly, advertisers’ perception of consumer confidence. A placement in the 161-year-old The New York Times or a commercial on a 90-year old network like NBC, for example, lends itself to legitimacy. An ad on Facebook? A banner ad on a blog? Not so much. But this is changing, as Nielsen’s new Global Trust in Advertising Survey, released today, reveals:



In just the past three years, consumers all over the world (56 countries represented in the study) are reporting higher levels of trust in everything from digital video ads and mobile ads to information on company websites and in company-generated emails. Conversely, during this same period, consumers began to significantly lose faith in traditional media advertising. Magazine ads saw a 20 percent drop in consumer trust, while television commercials tumbled 24 percent and newspapers a full 25 percent. This trend, coupled with the fact that, according to KPCB, consumers only spend eight percent of their time reading print publications, while these platforms eat up 27 percent of total ad dollars. To put this in perspective, mobile, which also yields eight percent of consumer attention, currently only receives 0.5 percent of total ad dollars.


It’s not clear that print is dying — print advertising, maybe — but it is clear that the future is in online and mobile. The consumers know it, those in the digital space know it, and soon, once the data really sinks in, brand decision makers will figure it out, too.


(Images via Break and L2)


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