Online Fails to Stem US Newspaper Ads Slump

05 September 2007

NEW YORK: Ad revenues continue to slide away from US newspapers despite increased online activity. Latest data from the Newspaper Association of America show print ads diving 10.2% to $10.5 billion (€7.7bn; £5.2bn) in Q2.

The NAA says total on-and-offline adspend at newspaper companies during Q2 was $11.3bn, an 8.6% decrease.

The survey shows newspapers' year-on-year online adspend climbed 19.3% to $796 million in Q2. The web now accounts for 7% of total newspaper ad revenues, compared with 5.4% in last year's Q2.

Among the major print-ad sectors in the quarter, classified advertising fell 16.4%; retail declined 6.4%; and national was down 7.9% to $1.8bn.

Within the classified print category, real estate advertising fell 20.7%, reflecting the US housing slump and subprime mortgage panic. Recruitment dropped 18.5%, while automotive was down 19.3%.

NAA president/ceo John Sturm concedes: "Cyclical swings in the US economy, as well as structural changes in the businesses of major advertisers continue to affect print advertising revenue."

But he was quick to put a positive spin on an otherwise gloomy picture: "As newspapers transform themselves into multimedia platforms offering a diverse portfolio of print and digital products, publishers continue to deliver the award-winning, innovative content that makes newspapers the most trusted source of news and information.

"Advertisers know that newspaper websites are ideal for reaching online users with the most attractive demographics."

Data sourced from NAA and Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff