Advertising is the main revenue stream for just 14% of publishers, according to the latest research from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. This is according to their survey of senior publisher executives across 32 countries.
This is a decline from previous Reuters Institute research – 35% of publishers said advertising was the most important digital revenue stream in 2018.
Instead, publishers want to counter the decline of advertising revenue with reader revenue. One-third (35%) say that advertising combined with reader revenue is most important going forward. One-half (50%) have abandoned advertising as their main revenue generator.
Publishers are confident about this strategy, as three-quarters (73%) say they are confident about their company in 2020. Just 6% said they were not confident.
This comes as print advertising has lost its previous dominance – newspapers accounted for one-third (34.9%) of all advertising spend in 2010, a figure that is expected to drop to just 5.6% this year.
Instead, some major newsbrands have seen notable success in shifting to a digital subscriptions strategy. The New York Times records over 4m paying digital subscribers and its digital revenue growth rate matches that of Alphabet. Indeed, two-thirds of print newsbrands have some form of digital paywall, with these becoming more expensive over time.
Print advertising has found to be particularly relevant for brands looking to improve purchase consideration and create loyalty. Multi-media campaigns supported by quality content have proven successful for brands as diverse as Carrefour and Dubai Properties.