Gone are the days when advertising was sufficient to support a newspaper. A recent survey by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) shows the US industry suffered a $798m loss in print ads for the first half of 2012 compared to last year.
Gains from digital ads did not come close to offsetting this, with a loss to gain ratio of 25 to 1.
All is not lost however it seems. A recent Guardian blog post explains that the NRS has been able to put cyberspace and newsstands together to show net reading figures, one of the first times this has been done. The results show The Guardian and The Observer have a combined reach of 9.5 million, one of the largest reaches in the UK.
Meanwhile, The New York Times has actually been able to record an increase in circulation revenue due to their online paywall and print subscription prices. This accounted for an 8.3 percent circulation revenue increase to $233 million for the paper. On top of this The New York Times have had a 73 percent gain in net circulation, mostly due to an increase in digital readership.
These figures spurred a recent blog post to go so far as saying The New York Times is now supported by readers, not advertisers. But is this really true? It is one thing to record an increase in circulation revenue, but quite another to be to be able to function primarily off this revenue. The circulation revenue increase to $233 million comes no where near close to the revenue generated by ads in days past, which even last year reached as high as $566.5 million. So how will the newspaper fill in this $333 million gap?
Watch this space.
– Amelia Caddy