Advertising drives media; there is no question about that. What is intriguing is to see how much influence advertising drives media. This summer I worked in the publishing industry at the Wall Street Journal’s marketing and ad sales department, and one thing became immediately clear; there has always been a constant battle between edit and advertising. What was clear specifically in the publishing industry was that their bulk of revenue came from advertising dollars. Many people are under the misconception that subscription price and numbers play a big role in a publication’s, even one as expensive as The Journal, revenue. This is not so, in fact many publications give out bulk copies of their newspaper or magazine in order to raise circulation and readership numbers. What subscription and viewership numbers are really important for is information that can be then used to sell potential advertisers on why they should advertise in a certain publication over another.
As technology has changed so has the publishing industry and it practices. In order to adapt to the changing landscape of the digital age many publishing companies are being extremely proactive in their advancement of publishing technology including both online and iPad or tablet publishing. These numbers are important to increase in order to retain and increase readership so that a publication will remain a competitive player within the advertising revenue department. It seems in my experience that while publishing companies are trying to embrace this technology change as much as possible, traditional advertisers are reluctant to do so because they are not familiar with the new technologies. Therefore in my paper I want to explore the affect that digital technology has had on the publishing industry, both for the publishing companies, and for the advertisers within these publications. Through this exploration I will show how the industry has fundamentally changed for better or worse, and how either embracing or resisting this change has been affecting these publishing companies’ bottom lines.