Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Print media still takes 37% of world
advertising revenues

The much-talked-about demise of printed newspapers worldwide is not only exaggerated, but may be plain wrong. According to the World Association of Newspapers, newspaper circulation grew 1.3% worldwide in 2008, albeit influenced by growth in the developing world.

A presentation by Gavin O'Reilly, president of the World Association of Newspapers and CEO of Independent News and Media, contradicts reports predicting the imminent death of newspapers, "...the printed audience, as a global industry, continues to grow." As reported by the Center for Media Research:

This growth, according to O'Reilly, is taking place in the developing markets of the world and masks a continued downward trend in the developed markets. "...this doom and gloom... continues, with commentators... joining the chorus that the future is online, online, online, almost to the exclusion of everything else... (which) oversimplifies a rather complex issue."

The presentation to the World Association of Newspapers Power of Print Conference in Barcelona, Spain said 1.9 billion people read a paid daily newspaper every day and newspapers reach 41% more adults than the world wide web.

Among other interesting findings:

  • Global newspaper circulation increased +1.3% in 2008, to almost 540 million daily sales, and was up +8.8% over five years.
  • Newspaper circulation increased +6.9% in Africa last year, +1.8% in South America, and +2.9% in Asia. It decreased -3.7% in North America, -2.5% in Australia and Oceania, and -1.8% in Europe. Newspaper reach in North America is 62%.
  • Circulation gains are not only occurring in the emerging markets of China and India; 38% of countries reported gains in 2008, and 58% saw circulation increase over five years.
  • Print media still takes 37% of world advertising revenues.
  • In the United States, combined print and online newspaper audience grew 8%. 52% of online newspaper readers spend the same amount of time as they did previously with newspaper content, 35% say they spend more time overall with newspaper content, and 81% of online newspaper readers say they've read a printed newspaper in the same week.

Although falling newspaper circulations are routinely blamed on the internet, the evidence paints a more complex picture, said Mr O'Reilly.
"... Is it just possible that the consumer is capable of multi-tasking... consuming a multitude of media... that... need not necessarily be just online? "

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