Though I have to admit that I stopped reading this Vanity Fair article about Arthur Sulzberger Jr. about halfway through because it’s full of anonymous quotes that question his character (which really isn’t of much interest to me). However, towards the beginning there is an interesting quote from a Citigroup report: “The Internet has taken away far more advertising than it has given.”
I was thinking about this a little today and realized that classifieds sits at the heart of the issue. While most people forget all about it when they discuss advertising, in 1997 it accounted for just under 41 percent of newspaper ad revenue while today it’s about 29 percent and dropping fast (year-on-year drop was almost 30 percent in 2008). To be honest, I have trouble believing it’s even that high. After all, if there’s one thing internet advertising can deliver on, it’s direct response.