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US newspaper ad revenue falls 10 percent in 1Q

US newspaper ad revenue falls 10 percent in 1Q

Advertising revenue at U.S. newspapers fell 10 percent in the first quarter from the year before, the smallest such drop since the recession began in late 2007.
Newspaper ads brought in $6 billion in the January-March period, down from $6.6 billion last year, according to numbers released Thursday by the Newspaper Association of America.
With the latest erosion, the newspaper industry is now subsisting on 46 percent less ad revenue than just four years ago. Newspaper ad revenue totaled $11.1 billion in the first quarter of 2006.
Although newspapers are still hurting, the first-quarter trend offered the latest sign that the misery may not last much longer. The industry's year-over-year declines in ad revenue have eased in each of the last three quarters.
"We continue to hear that an advertising rebound is getting closer," said John Sturm, president of the Newspaper Association of America.
With the shortfalls in advertising, their main source of revenue, newspapers have endured bankruptcy filings and dramatic cutbacks in staff. Some newspapers have closed, gone online-only or curtailed home delivery.
Ad revenue has now fallen at U.S. newspapers in 13 consecutive quarters compared with the previous year. The latest quarter marked the first time newspaper ad revenue has decreased by less than 12 percent since the final three months of 2007, a period that coincided with the start of the longest U.S. recession in more than 70 years.
Newspapers traditionally have relied on advertising for about 80 percent of their revenue, but they have been trying to lessen their dependence as less expensive alternatives have emerged on the Internet. Many big-city newspapers have raised their subscription and newsstand prices during the past two years, and several publications are pledging to begin charging for access to their long-free websites.
While the higher prices for print editions are bringing in more circulation revenue, they are also driving away thousands of subscribers. Smaller audiences typically generate lower ad rates.
As their print franchises struggle, newspapers are concentrating on selling more ads on the Web, smart phones and other mobile devices such as Apple Inc.'s iPad.
Those efforts helped to boost U.S. newspapers' online ad revenue by 5 percent in the first quarter to $730 million. That was the industry's first increase in online ad revenue from one year to the next since the first quarter of 2008.
But print advertising is far more valuable to newspapers because that format's rates are about 10 times higher than online marketing. Revenue from newspaper print ads fell 11 percent in the first quarter.


Updated : 2021-03-09 03:59 GMT+08:00