US newspaper industry limits revenue drop to 2%

Apr 08, 2013
A newsstand displays newspapers in New York City on April 30, 2011. US newspapers saw revenues fall two percent in 2012, an industry association said, suggesting an easing of the woes of the beleaguered sector.

US newspapers saw revenues fall two percent in 2012, an industry association said Monday, suggesting an easing of the woes of the beleaguered sector.

The , in what it termed the most comprehensive look at the industry, said revenues totaled $38.6 billion last year compared with $39.5 billion 2011.

The group said the revenue mix is changing, offering a reason for optimism.

Advertising revenues fell six percent, extending a recent trend, but other sources of income are growing, it said. This includes circulation revenue, which rose five percent.

The survey said new revenue sources such as digital consulting for local business and e-commerce transactions grew by eight percent.

"America's newspaper media are transforming themselves," said Caroline Little, NAA president and chief executive.

"In virtually every community they serve, newspapers have the biggest newsrooms, the best-known brands and significant audience market share. Now they are building on those to find new ways to serve audiences and local businesses."

The report, which covers US newspaper operations excluding international operations or non-media enterprises, found that $18.9 billion of revenue came from and $3.4 billion from .

That's in addition to another $10.4 billion from circulation, $3 billion from new revenue sources and $2.9 billion from advertising from direct marketing or non-daily publications.

Digital revenues—which include circulation, advertising, e-commerce, and other sources—made up 11 percent of total revenue in 2012 for the 13 companies that provided this data, the NAA said.

The five percent overall growth in circulation revenue was the first gain in this category for the newspaper industry since 2003. These gains were from digital or bundled subscriptions, which offset a 14 percent drop in print-only circulation revenue.

A study last month by the 's Project for Excellence in Journalism said newspapers "have started to experiment in a big way with a variety of new revenue streams and major organizational changes."

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tadchem
not rated yet Apr 08, 2013
At a time when all newspapers are experiencing drops in circulation figures, they are *raising* customer prices? The same economics applies here as with advertising revenue. One cannot continue to raise prices indefinitely and not expect to reach the point of diminishing returns.
What they *should* be doing is finding out why their readers are walking away - before their advertisers find out that is what's happening!
As an aside, I think the political agendas the papers are pushing are alienating readers, regardless of how personally gratifying it is to reporters and editors to praise their friends and demonize their foes. Whenever they take sides politically, they are guaranteed to p*ss off at least half the readship - regardless of which side they take. Do that often enough and they will lose readers, and they can only lose each reader once.