The declining advertising placement trend that started in 2006 continues to take its toll on the newspaper industry causing many to ask, “How low can it go?” Resembling a downhill ski slope, the downward sales trajectory of print newspaper advertising visually conveys the loss that many publications are reeling from.
According to a recent report released by the Newspaper Association of America, total print ads in the United States were down in the second quarter of this year by $8.8 Billion or 16 percent. The second quarter findings are consistent with eight preceeding quarters of decline creating an ever-accelerating descent and corresponding decline in ad revenues.
The NAA report further shows that the industry’s second quarter revenues were down $1.7 Billion over the same time period a year ago. Even more alarming are the 2008 year-to-date revenue figures. For the first half of this year total income is down over $3 Billion. Current revenues mirror those revenues from 13 years ago, or 1995′s revenue numbers.
Internet and online ads are still too small a percentage of the overall revenue pie to have a significant positive impact on the industry. So don’t look to online ads to be an Ace in the industry’s pocket. For the first time since online ads have been tracked, online ads were down by 2.4 percent for the same time period. To put this in perspective, both online and print newspaper ad revenues are down.
Remember this is a Newspaper Association, and not a report on all sales from all print and online media outlets. What does that mean? It means that less and less people are turning to newspapers as a place to put their advertising dollars - PERIOD! Over the last few years newspapers have been frantically trying to diversify into interactive online media, but now the revenue numbers are suggesting that their interactive advertising plans are not working out as they had once hoped that they would. Less and less would-be advertisers are considering options that have anything to do with a newspaper. This is not good news for the industry.
Don’t read into this report that online advertising is slipping. It isn’t slipping for anyone else, just the newspaper industry. Digital advertising is still gaining ground. Online advertising totals less than 3 percent of the newspaper industry’s sales revenues. That is very little penetration for an industry who has had more than writing on the wall as a warning of things to come.
The NAA report findings further indicated that the largest dips in advertising revenue by category were in help-wanted, automotive, real estate and recruitment ad placement.
Question: where are you putting your advertising dollars?
Popularity: 21% [?]