Monday, April 21, 2014

US Newspapers Revenues Still Falling

The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) has released its report on the state of newspapers in 2013.  The report trumpets "the best performance since 2006" - but that's because the overall revenue decline of -2.6% is the smallest annual percentage decline over that period.  Overall, the industry lost more than a billion dollars of revenue in 2013.  The fall in revenues was again led by a 8.6% drop in print advertising revenues.  According to the report, print advertising revenues account for less than half of total revenue.  Classified ad revenues continue to lead the decline (down 10.5%), but both national and retail advertising revenues fell by 8%.  Advertising revenues were also down (-5.8%) for weekly and niche publications.

Offsetting this was a modest 1.5% growth in digital advertising (overall, digital advertising is growing at a double-digit pace).  If there's good news in the report, it's the fact that the rapid adoption of paywalls for the online versions of print newspapers contributed to a modest gain in overall circulation revenues.  That, and the fact that the NAA managed to add $5.5 billion in additional revenues by including revenues from side ventures such as contract printing, weeklies, and a range of niche publications and services.  That really helped to slow the decline in the "total industry" numbers.  Still, revenues from all digital sources amounts to only 12% of total industry revenue, and newspapers' digital revenues continue to grow much more slowly than other forms of digital advertising.

Newspapers aren't out of the woods yet.

Sources -  Newspaper industry narrowed revenue loss in 2013 as paywall plans increased, Poynter
Business Model Evolving, Circulation Revenue Rising, NAA report\

(I made a number of edits for style and clarity after initial posting - BJB)

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