Reach, publisher of the Daily Mirror, Daily Star and Daily Express, has reported a 20% drop in print advertising revenue across the group, a decline that coincides with a fall of 4% in circulation in the third quarter.

Digital ad revenue increased, however, but only by 7%. Overall, like-for-like group sales for the third quarter (taking into account Reach’s February acquisition of the Express and Star newspapers) were 7% down, the Financial Times reported.

When the purchase of these titles is included, group revenue increased by 21% for the period, the company said.

The decline in Reach’s print advertising and circulation is part of a wider, long-term trend in the industry. In June this year, an independent review for the UK government into the state of high-quality journalism released initial findings that made sombre reading for print.

As WARC reported, the Cairncross Review found revenues across the industry had fallen by more than a half over the last decade.

Digital revenues had grown over the same period, but total revenues from circulation and print advertising had fallen from £7bn to just over £3bn.

Consequently, newspapers face the challenge of becoming increasingly creative in generating ad sales.

The industry has in the past been known more for cut-throat competition, but collaboration is required in today’s market. In July this collaboration reached a new high with the launch of Impact.

The Impact initiative is a one-stop shop allowing advertisers to buy packages across multiple titles and newspaper groups, comparable with TV, out-of-home and radio in terms of reach and price.

Several large regional groups and all national titles, except the Financial Times, have signed up to the scheme. The trade body for the newspaper industry, Newsworks, says the scheme offers advertisers a reach of 21 million people per day.

Sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff