Advertising has been flowing in relevant figures towards Romanian online media for a year and will continue to rise, says Ioan Margarit, head editor of HotNews.ro, in an interview for cultural magazine Dilema Veche.
He said that while this news website is now living exclusively on advertising revenues, it has had hard times since its conception in autumn 2000 and keeps looking for alternative financial resources.
In the interview, Ioan Margarit says the advantage of the Internet as a medium is that like in television one can have instant figures about the degree of interest for a certain subject among the audience - compared to paper media, where one must wait for months to receive market feedback.
He says the re-branding process the website went through last year, when it changed its name from RevistaPresei.ro (PressReview.ro) into Hotnews.ro was necessary because the website, first conceived as a press review, had become the first continuous newspaper in the country.
That is, Hotnews.ro should not be seen as a news agency, as such a media outlet provides hudreds of new stories daily, an improper number for an average reader.
But it should bee seen as an agenda for ongoing events, with several dozens of subjects daily for the Romanian version, which are structured and built according to the interests of its readers - with archive links, audio and video files.
Ioan Margarit says the economic pressures on a news websites are much lower than on other media because it is much cheaper to produce an online newspaper than an offline medium. But he admitted there have been political pressures on HotNews.ro, which the newspaper challenged successfully in court.
He predicts that advertising budgets for the Internet may exceed those allocated for radio stations in Romania next year as more and more people are attracted to the new medium since money flows started to boom.
But he said one cannot speak of profit at HotNews.ro for the time being because all it earns is reinvested in development according to a development project evaluated at several tens of thousands euro.
Original interview by Cezar Paul-Badescu in Dilema Veche