US President Donald Trump speaks at a 'Make America Great Again' rally in Phoenix, Arizona, on August 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas Kamm.
With the abundance of news coverage involving President of the United States Donald Trump, people will seek out more and more information and social circles that reinforces their beliefs regarding politics, states the Democratic Audit UK, a division of the Public Policy Group at the London School of Economics.
According to TVNewser, the combined projected annual revenue (license fees and advertisements) over the last 10 years, for MSNBC, Fox News and CNN rose nearly 20 percent or $4.7 billion.
With the most significant spike beginning in 2015, the same year Trump announced his run for office.
Following the election and reelection of former President Barack Obama, the combined projected annual revenue was at $2.6 billion and $3.4 billion, respectively.
It seems that Trump’s brand has been good for business.
Marketing and media experts like Dawn Edmiston, a clinical associate professor of marketing at the College of William & Mary, say that this phenomenon is called the “Trump Bump.”
“President Trump's election has certainly had a major impact upon national and international media outlets,” Edmiston said. “This ‘bump’ is not just limited to traditional newspapers, but to television programs like Saturday Night Live who’ve seen substantial ratings increases as well.”
Ad prices for the NBC show that satirizes Trump and members of his administration have doubled since 2015 with 30-second ad spots costing an average of $183,730, according to Variety Magazine.
However, there has been a flip side to the coin when it comes to attaining ad revenue.
Since Trump’s election in November 2016, advertisement revenue has dropped across the board for all cable news programs by nearly 7 percent, according to the Standard Media Index.
CNN saw a decrease of 1 percent while MSNBC increased by 2 percent. Fox News saw the most significant drop in ad profits —17 percent as of Sept. 2017.
Despite the dip in ad revenue, Fox News continues to dominate the market overall, with some of the highest ad spots in cable news. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” leads the way at about $12,200 per ad slot during the nightly show.
Other media outlets, however, have managed to find their “runner’s stride.”
News articles focusing on Trump’s policies, actions, statements and members of his administration drive ratings up on cable news and in doing so, subscriptions to online newspapers have increased, according to AdWeek.
The New York Times gained over 130,000 subscribers immediately following Trump’s win in Nov. 2016. A year later, the company added 105,000 digital-only subscribers, placing their subscription revenue at $86 million, a 46 percent increase, according to CNBC.
The Washington Post as a private company does not have to publish its earnings; however, comScore, a business that provides analytical audience measurement data, recorded 95 million visitors to the Post’s website just in Sept. 2017.
In a New York Times article, the Post’s chief revenue officer, Jed Hartman, said that “digital ad revenue is in the nine digits” and that the company will have “a third straight year of double-digit revenue growth.” The Post also documented one billion-page views, up 4 percent from one year ago.
As for the future, Edmiston said that the unique relationship between the president and the media will only help to provide more interest in televised political discourse. But, marketers are planning for any dips in news consumption should anything happen.
“The Trump effect has definitely increased the relevancy and ad revenue of media organizations around the world,” Edmiston said. “We’ve seen it day in and day out over the past year.
The public (and media) do not seem to have grown tired of the president. And that being said, there are no signs of that interest diminishing in 2018.
However, in the unlikely event, the most effective marketers are constantly ‘looking ahead’ to stave off any [revenue stream] problems should President Trump not be a feature post on social media or lead story during the evening news.”