Traditional media outlets “have had little success” getting advertisers to move from their legacy businesses to their online news sites and relatively few of the ads they create for the Web are targeted to customers based on their interests, according to a new study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.
The struggle of traditional news organizations to adapt to the online world “throws into question the financial future of journalism as audiences continue to migrate online,” according to the group, an arm of the Pew Research Center.
The researchers took a snapshot of ads last summer at 22 top news sites and then took a second look in January. Three of the sites--Yahoo News, Nytimes.com and CNN.com targeted nearly half or more of their ads, based on users’ previous Web habits.
The researchers found that even when they cleared their browser histories, information sometimes known as “cookies,” the news outlets could still deliver content-specific ads. Getting selected ads to amenable customers allows publishers to charge higher ad rates—usually set as a price per thousand impressions or CPM, the study noted.