Global Newspaper Circulation and Advertising Trends in 2012

by MarketingCharts staff

The research reveals a rather wide variance in newspaper’s fortunes when sorting by region:

  • North America

Circulation was down by 6.6% year-over-year, and by 13% since 2008.
Advertising revenues were down by 7.6% over 1 year and by 42.1% over 5.

  • Western Europe

Circulation declined by 5.3% over 1 year, and by 24.8% over 5.
Ad revenues dropped by 3.4% year-over-year, and by 23.3% since 2008.

  • Eastern Europe

Circulation was down by 8.2% year-over-year, and by 27.4% since 2008.
Advertising revenues were down by 5.6% over 1 year and by 30.2% over 5.

  • Middle East and North Africa

Circulation dropped by 1.4% year-over-year, but increased by 10.5% since 2008.
Advertising revenues increased by 2.3% over 1 year, but declined by 22.7% over 5.

  • Asia

Circulation increased by 1.2% over 1 year, and by 9.8% over 5.
Ad revenues were up by 3.6% year-over-year, and by 6.2% since 2008.

  • Australia and New Zealand

Circulation was up by 3.5% year-over-year, and by 1% since 2008.
Advertising revenues were down by 8.3% over 1 year and by 24.9% over 5.

  • Latin America

Circulation increased marginally, by 0.1% over 1 year, but by a larger 9.1% over 5.
Ad revenues were up by 9.1% year-over-year, and by 37.6% since 2008.

The data shows that newspaper advertising revenues have declined at a faster rate globally than circulation. That’s primarily due to faster losses in the US, where print advertising fell by 42% over the 5-year period, representing three-quarters of global losses. The researchers attribute that large decline to “traditionally high dependence on classified advertising,” which has now migrated online.

Other Findings:

  • Survey respondents say that their biggest challenge is increasing audience engagement on digital platforms. Although a majority of the digital population visits newspaper websites, newspapers represent just a small fraction of total internet consumption: 7% of visits; 1.3% of total time spent; and just 0.9% of page visits.
  • In the US. Germany and France, time spent with news content on tablets is equal with time spent with the printed newspaper, a fairly astounding result.
  • Packaging of print and digital subscriptions appears to be performing well. Where data is available, the research shows that single copy sales are down 26%, while subscription sales are down 8%.