For newspapers, 2015 might as well have been a recession year. Weekday circulation fell 7% and Sunday circulation fell 4%, both showing their greatest declines since 2010. At the same time, advertising revenue experienced its greatest drop since 2009, falling nearly 8% from 2014 to 2015. Fully one-fourth of advertising revenue now comes from digital advertising, but not because of growth in that area: Digital advertising revenue fell 2% in 2015. It’s just that non-digital advertising revenue fell more, dropping 10% in 2015. In 2014, the latest year for which data were available, newsroom employment also declined 10%, more than in any other year since 2009. The newspaper workforce has shrunk by about 20,000 positions, or 39%, in the last 20 years. And three newspaper companies – E.W. Scripps, Journal Communications, and Gannett – are now one, reflecting a trend toward consolidation in the industry. Nevertheless, most of the newspaper websites studied here experienced growth in traffic, and mobile traffic in particular. Overall, however, the industry continues to shrink, with Editor & Publisher’s DataBook listing 126 fewer daily papers in 2014 than in 2004.
Monday, June 20, 2016
From The State of the News Media 2016: