retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Nielsen Co. is out with a new study speaking to how the consumption of news has changed radically because of the internet: "Whether browsing the news headlines about international news, U.S. politics, or the latest tech gadgets, 111 million Americans visited news websites in September 2013. That’s more than half of the Americans (54%) who were active on the Web, and each visitor to news sites spent an average of 1 hour 32 minutes on those sites during the month."

What's interesting is the list of top ten news sites visited by consumers - it is dominated by traditional news names that seem to have successfully adapted to the digital age - ABC, CNN, NBC, the New York Times, Fox News and the Washington Post.

Sure, there's a Huffington Post thrown in there for good measure - a company that represents a pure play startup that was made possible by the internet, and that was not a brand extension by an existing media company. But the lesson, I think, is that traditional brands that have earned trust over the years have been able to transfer that trust to a new venue without being challenged - so far - by a news media version of Amazon.

That doesn't mean it can't still happen. And it doesn't mean that all these media companies have totally figured out the profitability part of the equation.

But it does mean that traditional brands can adapt to a digital world and be successful … in part by emphasizing the traditions that have made them trustworthy, and in part by being willing, wherever necessary, to abandon old-world ways of doing business and adapt to the new world's demands.

It is an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: