Newspaper Trends Survey: The Highs and Lows
June 2013 -- The annual World Press Trends survey of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) finds print newspaper circulations continued to rise in Asia while they decline in mature markets in the West.
An analysis of the World Press Trends data shows that news sites enjoy high readership, but the level of reader engagement is low. Digital platforms have increased the audience for newspaper content, but this growth is not being followed by a growth in advertising revenues.
The World Press Trends survey analyzed data from more than 70 countries, accounting for more than 90 per cent of the global industry's value. Additional survey findings:
MORE THAN HALF THE WORLD'S POPULATION READS A DAILY NEWSPAPER
- More than half the world's adult population read a daily newspaper: 2.5 billion in print, more than 600 million in digital form.
- The newspaper industry generates more than US$200 billion of revenue annually; Circulation and advertising performance vary widely by region.
- Newspaper circulation declined only -0.9% globally in 2012 from a year earlier, as rising circulations in Asia offset circulation losses elsewhere. Circulation declined -2.2% globally between 2008 and 2012, with the steepest declines in Europe.
- In the last year, circulation declined over one year by -6.6% in North America, -5.3% in western Europe, -8.2% in eastern Europe, and -1.4% in the Middle East and North Africa.
- Circulation increased +1.2% in Asia, +3.5% in Australia and New Zealand, and +0.1% in Latin America over the past year.
- Circulation declined over five years by -13% in North America, -0.8% in Latin America, -24.8% in western Europe, and -27.4% in eastern Europe.
- Circulation increased over five years in Asia by +9.8%, the Middle East and North Africa by +10.5% and Australia and New Zealand by +1.0%.
- In markets where data is available, single copy sales have declined -26% over the last four years, compared to a decline of -8% in subscription sales. The packaging of print/digital subscriptions is becoming increasingly successful.
NEWSPAPER ADVERTISING REVENUES
- Globally, newspaper advertising revenues declined -2.0% globally in 2012 from a year earlier, and -22% since 2008. The five-year decline was driven primarily by newspaper advertising declines in the U.S., the world's largest advertising market. Print advertising fell -42.0% in the U.S. over five years, accounting for nearly three-quarters of the global loss in newspaper advertising.
- The decline in US newspaper advertising revenues reflects the US publishers' traditionally high dependence on classified advertising. An estimated 80%of classified is now digital (though much of it is among 'pure players' that are owned by publishers; that revenue is not reflected in industry statistics).
- Advertising revenues declined over one year by -7.6% in North America, -3.4% in western Europe, -5.6% in eastern Europe, and -8.3% in Australia and New Zealand.
- Ad revenue rose +9.1% in Latin America, +3.6% in Asia, and +2.3% in the Middle East and North Africa.
- Advertising revenues declined over five years by -42.1% in North America, -23.3% in western Europe, -30.2% in eastern Europe, -22.7% in the Middle East and North Africa, and -24.9% in Australia and New Zealand. It increased +37.6% in Latin America and +6.2% in Asia.
THE ENGAGEMENT CHALLENGE
- The biggest challenge for publishers continues to be how to increase the engagement of audiences on digital platforms. While more than half of the digital population visit newspaper websites, newspapers are a small part of total internet consumption, representing only 7% of visits, only 1.3% of time spent, and 0.9% of total pages visited.
- Mobile and tablets are rapidly becoming a medium of choice for many news consumers, accounting for 20% of page views in markets where data is available.
GROWING REVENUE SOURCES
- Paid content is a growing revenue stream. According to the Alliance of Audited Media, nearly half of U.S. publishers now adopt some form of paid content model. Forty percent are using a metered model, one-third charge for premium content, 17% require payment for any access, and 10% use some other model.
- Newspapers are actively developing revenues from non-traditional sources. In the U.S., 27%of newspaper company revenues now come from non-traditional sources: 11% from digital, 8% from new revenue from other sources (service to clients in addition to advertising), and 8% from e-commerce.
About: WAN-IFRA, the global organization for newspapers and news publishers, is a leading provider of industry research and analysis that identifies, analyzes and publicizes all important breakthroughs and opportunities that can benefit news media all over the world. World Press Trends, the leading source of newspaper data and trends globally, has been published by WAN-IFRA since 1989. The World Press Trends survey analyzed data from more than 70 countries, accounting for more than 90 per cent of the global industry's value. The data is compiled through an enormous undertaking by dozens of national newspaper and news media associations and generous support from global data suppliers: Zenith Optimedia, IPSOS, ComScore and the ITU.
Source: WAN-IFRA, World Press Trends: Increasing Audience Engagement is Future for News Media, June 2, 2013.