Audit Notes: Video ads, NPR on the Hamster Wheel, ProPublica’s data store

Adweek on TV versus online video

Adweek clickbaits us with a headline saying, “You Won’t Believe How Big TV Still Is.”

It’s unclear why you wouldn’t believe how big TV still is, since people really like the teevee. The average American watches an incredible 35 hours a week, at least according to Nielsen.

But Adweek’s post does have an interesting point, which is more like, “You Won’t Believe How Small Online Video Is.” Here’s the chart:

There are 283 million television viewers monthly (the population of the United States is 313 million), each watching an average of 146 hours of TV. Compare that with 155 million online video viewers averaging just shy of six hours monthly on mobile and almost six and a half hours over the Web. So while TV’s audience is still almost twice that of digital video, the amount of money in digital isn’t even 5 percent of the mammoth $74 billion chunk of change in television. What’s going to bring about growth in the former, said Amit Seth, Nielsen’s evp, global media products, is equivalency.

Using Adweek’s numbers, we find that Americans cumulatively watch 41.3 billion hours of TV a month, while they watch 1.94 billion hours of video online. TV hauls in $6.2 billion a month, while online video brings in $292 million a month.

That works out to about 15 cents in ads per hour of TV—and 15 cents in ads per hour of online video.

What’s going to bring about growth in online-video ad revenue then, at least according to Adweek numbers at least, is growth in watching video online.

— In Hamster Wheel watch, NPR aggregates the Dail Mail aggregating someone else without credit.

And NPR follows the Mail Online’s lead in hyping up the story, such that it is, with a misleading clickbait headline:

Pope Francis Drops F Bomb During Vatican Address

The pope mispronounced an Italian word and corrected himself. NPR’s headline is misleading enough to be false.

It then changed the headline to “Pope Francis Lets A Vulgarity Slip During Vatican Address,” which is still as misleading as the original.

— ProPublica has a sharp idea on how to monetize its journalism: Selling its databases.

Scott Klein and Ryann Grochowski Jones:

Like most newsrooms, we make extensive use of government data — some downloaded from “open data” sites and some obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests. But much of our data comes from our developers spending months scraping and assembling material from web sites and out of Acrobat documents. Some data requires months of labor to clean or requires combining datasets from different sources in a way that’s never been done before…

For datasets that are the result of significant expenditures of our time and effort, we’re charging a reasonable one-time fee: In most cases, it’s $200 for journalists and $2,000 for academic researchers. Those wanting to use data commercially should reach out to us to discuss pricing…

The Data Store is a bit of an experiment. We don’t know for sure how much interest there is for the data. For now, there are only a few datasets available and it’s a manual process to buy them.

It may amount to nothing or not much. But it’s a good experiment. ProPublica could make an iTunes of data, let other news organizations hawk their datasets on the store, and take a cut. Just don’t take 30 percent.

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum. Tags: , , , ,