US Newspaper Revenue Trends in 2013

April 21, 2014

This article is included in these additional categories:

Mobile Phone | Newspapers | Tablet

NAA-US-Newspaper-Media-Ad-Revenue-Profile-in2013-Apr2014US newspaper cross-platform media revenues shrank by 2.6% year-over-year in 2013 to $37.6 billion, reports the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), as growth in new revenue streams failed to make up for declines in traditional print advertising. Print ad spend continued to account for the bulk of total revenues, but fell by 8.6% and now represent only 46% share of total revenues. The results also show that newspapers are failing to keep up with online advertising’s overall revenue gains. Indeed, while the US’ online ad market grew by 17% year-over-year in 2013, newspapers’ digital ad revenues increased by just 1.5%. That was enough to increase digital’s portion of newspapers’ total ad revenues to 19%, though.

Other – smaller – advertising revenue sources moved in opposite directions. Revenue from direct marketing rose by a modest 2.4% to $1.4 billion, while advertising spending in niche publications and non-daily newspapers fell by 5.8% to $1.45 billion.

In total, the $23.6 billion in advertising revenues represented a 6.5% fall-off from 2012, and equated to 63% of total newspaper media revenues. Newspapers are the 3rd-largest advertising medium in the US, behind only the internet and TV, per PricewaterhouseCoopers data.

Meanwhile, although ad revenues continue to shrink, other revenue streams are growing. Circulation revenues increased by 3.7% to $10.9 billion, or 29% share of total revenues. “Newly-developing and other sources” – meaning those outside of advertising and circulation – generated about 8% share of revenues, growing 5% year-over-year to $3.15 billion. These new sources include digital agency and marketing services (up 43%), event marketing (+5%), e-commerce (-4%), commercial printing (+4%), distribution of other products to consumers (-2%) and income from royalties, licensing, rental, waste and scrap sales (+3%).

Overall, the revenue trends were largely unchanged from 2012, with the 2013 results generally moving in the wrong direction:

  • The total revenue decrease of 2.6% was slightly larger than the 2% drop in 2012;
  • Ad revenues’ 6.5% decline followed a 6% fall a year earlier;
  • Print ads’ 8.6% drop-off was similar to 2012’s 9% drop; and
  • Circulation revenues’ 3.7% increase followed a 5% increase in 2012.

Other Findings:

  • Revenues from digital channels overall (ads, circulation, digital marketing services, and other) grew by 5.8% to account for 12% of total industry revenue.
  • Pure-play (digital-only) advertising grew by 14% year-over-year.
  • While mobile ad revenues increased by 77%, they comprised less than 1% of overall revenues.
  • Digital-only circulation revenues saw rapid growth of 47%, while print and digital bundled circulation jumped 107%. By comparison, print-only circulation revenue from home delivery and single-copy sales fell by 20%.

About the Data: NAA projections are based on a broad sample that includes public and private company data collected on a confidential basis. The data are normalized for a 52-week reporting period in both years.

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