U.S. Print versus online advertising revenues

According to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s “The State of the News Media 2013” report, newspapers are still vulnerable: U.S. print advertising fell for a sixth consecutive year in 2012, dropping $1.8 billion, or 8.5 percent, with national advertising a particular weakness.

On a more optimistic, note, however, newspapers are also stabilizing revenue for the first time since 2007, through a more variegated revenue stream strategy that includes digital paywalls and print subscription and single-copy price increases.

From a base much lower than that of the mid-2000s, publicly traded newspaper companies saw share prices rise in 2012, with some up 30 percent or more. Even still, newspapers are blending their print and digital properties and tactics to stay viable.

Online newspapers from around the world are well represented in the Top Ten list. The United Kingdom’s Mail Online is the most read, with more than 50 million visits during October, while The New York Times is second with almost 49 million visitors. Third is The Guardian in the UK, with almost 39 million; Tribune newspapers including the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times with almost 36 million; and China’s People’s Daily with 33 million.

Newspaper advertising revenues are less than half of the revenue from 2003 through 2007 in the United States, underscoring the slide of print advertising revenues in the industry in the past decade, according to Pew’s “State of the News Media” report. Meanwhile, digital revenue proportions have increased considerably, but actual revenue numbers have only slightly increased, signaling a confounding reality that digital revenue is unlikely to reverse the revenue picture for the newspaper industry in the foreseeable future.

The data set is a part of a collection of 500 revenue and usership trends in mobile, social, Internet, tablet, video and other digital categories, published in the 200-page Global Digital Media Trendbook 2013. GDMT, in its eight year, is to be published by World Newsmedia Network, a not-for-profit media research company, in September 2013. To subscribe to the PDF report and/or the tablet edition, go to www.wnmn.org, or contact mstone@wnmn.org.

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