Newspaper advertising revenue drops like a rock and keeps online marketing on a steady roll

Newspaper Graph

Advertising revenue from newspapers, adjusted for inflation, has dropped to 1950’s levels.

As you can see from this chart that after rising for over 50 years newspaper ad revenue dropped radically in 2003 and then for good in about 2005. Blogging put the nail in its coffin. Online communities that people can join became more interesting and free. Craigslist, Monster, E-Bay, and other websites replacing classified ads stole huge ad dollars from newspapers. Napster started a music revolution and blogging and alternative classified ad sites started the demise of newspaper revenues. More industries will drop due to creative destruction. Our partner for our seminar series, Paul Gillin stared News Paper Death Watch to Chronicle the demise of newspapers. It mentions on October 20th of 2012 that Newsweek is officially closing. Newsweek magazine will publish its last print edition in December and relaunch in an all-digital format in 2013. Encyclopedia Britannica also went down in 2012.

United States newspaper industry snapshot

  • The web outdid newspapers in 2010 as a main place to get news
  • Print ads are 86% of newspaper revenue
  • 152 newspapers stopped operating in 2011 according to Vocus
  • 151 newspapers stopped operating in 2010 according to a State of the Media report
  • Journalists now largely are subcontractors and have been laid off by the thousands
  • Print advertising revenue fell by $2.1 billion in 2011
  • Stock prices for newspapers fell by about 25% in 2011
  • Digital circulation now accounts for 14% of newspaper circulation
  • Total online advertising spending grew 23% in 2011, to $32 billion
  • Digital advertisements now account for at least 20% of total US advertising

Examples of closed newspapers

  • Albuquerque Tribune
  • Arcadia News-Leader
  • Baltimore Examiner
  • Blue Springs Journal
  • Cincinnati Post
  • Contra-Costa Times
  • Denver Daily News
  • Galesville Republican
  • Halifax Daily News
  • Honolulu Advertiser
  • Johnson County Sun
  • Kentucky Post
  • King County Journal
  • National Speed Sport News
  • Nebo Reporter
  • New York Press
  • Oakland Tribune
  • Rocky Mountain News
  • San Juan Star
  • South Idaho Press
  • Spanish Fork Press
  • Sparta News-Plaindealer
  • Springville Herald
  • St. Louis Globe-Democrat
  • Sylvania Herald
  • The Belton Star Herald
  • The Midcoast Beacon
  • The North Florida Herald
  • The Observer
  • Tucson Citizen
  • Two Rivers Tribune
  • Union City Register-Tribune
  • Vail Mountaineer
  • Whitehall Times

List of defunct US newspapers from Wikipedia

The top 15 most popular news sites from eBizMBA in October 2012

  1. Yahoo! News | 110,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
  2. CNN | 74,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
  3. MSNBC – 73,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
  4. Google News | 65,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
  5. New York Times | 59,500,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
  6. HuffingtonPost | 54,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
  7. Fox News | 32,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
  8. Washington Post | 25,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
  9. LATimes | 24,900,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
  10. Mail Online | 24,800,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
  11. Reuters | 24,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
  12. ABCNews | 20,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
  13. USA Today | 18,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
  14. BBC News | 17,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors
  15. Drudge Report | 14,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors

Newspaper losses open a door for those willing to adapt. Newspapers and other print media are gunning it with online editions and if you have a real content marketing plan and a story to tell you can ride the new wave. Rather than spending so much in print ads and in traditional Public Relations, site owners must nurture relationships with reporters, editors, and publishers through blogs and other social media.

Can traditional newspapers survive? If so, how?

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