DBusiness: Jeff Stoltman on advertising tactics

Beyond changing lifestyles, a news year like 2020 may attract readers, but will they pay for subscriptions. Will advertisers return? “I’d be worried about aging out,” says Jeffrey Stoltman, director of entrepreneurship and innovation programs in the Mike Ilitch School of Business. Drawing a comparison between newspapers and 78-rpm records, Stoltman cites three unavoidable factors – namely shorter and shorter attention spans, the emergence and continuous availability of the digital space, and what he calls the “contagion effect – it’s more popular to do the new thing than the old thing.” Stoltman suggests two avenues as the best hopes for newspapers to weather these lean times and rebound. One is by becoming the “safe place for advertisers to go.” The second avenue could be integration with other services. “Jeff Bezos may do this with the Washington Post,” he says. “You bundle things.”

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