(Montreal) The redemption of the Huffington Post by AOL comes as the media landscape undergoes a profound change, the United States and elsewhere.
In just five short years, advertising revenues have moved en masse to the internet newspaper. According to latest data from the firm ZenithOptimedia, advertisers spent $ 51.5 billion U.S. in 2006 in U.S. newspapers - a record - against just 29.7 billion last year. And investment should melt to 23.9 billion in 2013.
During the same period, are injected on the web has exploded from 11 to 23 billion. They are expected to reach 35.4 billion within two years, ZenithOptimedia expects.
Several newspapers have disappeared from the landscape in recent years and the majority have seen their cost structure down. The financial foundation of many media companies are now more robust. But the real revolution journalism, "she is just beginning, argues Michael Mandel, a former chief economist at Business Week and media specialist.
"We do not so much a problem with a business model problem of journalism, advance there. What people really want? And what are they willing to pay? What is known is that they are not willing to pay for what they had before. "
Michael Mandel know where will the winning business models. AOL believes that its share will come from citizen journalism and ultralocal, it develops at high speed with its patch sites, Seed and a plethora of other new specialized portals.
AOL has created about 900 jobs as journalists during the last year, paid between $ 35 000 and $ 45 000 per year on average according to some sources. The group also has an extensive network of employees, without salary or benefits.
A Toronto freelance, who asked to remain anonymous, wrote three or four articles per week for a financial information website of AOL. His lyrics are paid $ 80 to $ 160 room. Independent journalist appreciates the regularity of orders, but expressed strong reservations. "I feel that there is no loyalty to me: I am here first and foremost to produce content at the lowest cost possible."
Paradoxically, the more precarious and more of a reporter had the effect of boosting the number of people who say "go about journalistic occupation" in the U.S., according to a study conducted last summer by the economist Michael Mandel. Their number increased by 5% for three years, exceeding the average growth of other academic professions.
"Journalists do not work, however, in publications of general circulation whose cost structure is high, but among other Yahoo and AOL, as a freelancer," commented Mr. Mandel.
All media, advertising expenditures are expected to reach 368 billion this year in the United States, and climb to 392 billion in 2013, ZenithOptimedia expects.