Wither the Newspapers, Whither the Advertisers?

Clay Shirky’s great essay on the past, present, and future of newspapers begs the question of what will happen to big advertisers whose drive for economies of scale allied them with the big publishers and broadcasters who were driven by the same Industrial-age imperatives.  What’s to become of the national brands?

If you want to know why newspapers are in such trouble, the most salient fact is this: Printing presses are terrifically expensive to set up and to run. This bit of economics, normal since Gutenberg, limits competition while creating positive returns to scale for the press owner, a happy pair of economic effects that feed on each other.

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