This morning I connected the dots as I read the 3rd quarter earnings reports and reflected on my own travel habits. One little change in habit tells me a lot about why Apple and Google are up this quarter, while Gannett is down. Specifically, Apple’s profit is up 47%, Google’s is up 27% and Gannet’s profit is down 53%.
I spend a fair amount of nights in a motel. I’m also a news junkie. These days I check in, go straight to my room, turn on my laptop computer, check the latest news and handle pending e-mail. That is in contrast to several years ago when I would check in, pick up the USA Today, go straight to my room, turn on the television and read the USA Today. Consequently, advertisers who want me to see their ads must connect (pun intended) with me via the Internet instead of a newspaper. And to connect to the Internet I need a laptop computer that has a wireless Internet connection. Motels have figured it out. They provide me with free wireless Internet. Advertisers figured it out as well. National advertising revenue fell 37% for USA Today; paid search accounted for nearly all of Google’s revenue.