Newspapers report ad revenue loss for 25th quarter in a row

Newspaper advertising revenues were down 5.1 percent in the third quarter, compared to the same period in 2011, the Newspaper Association of America reported over the holiday.

Alan Mutter summarizes the trends with this chart.

The results were marginally better than those for the first two quarters of 2012, but the industry has posted advertising losses for 25 consecutive quarters, dating back to 2006.

Digital advertising grew 3.6 percent in the quarter. However that gain failed to cover print losses by a ratio of about 10 to 1. National print advertising was especially soft, falling 10.5 percent year-to-year.

According to company reports in the last month, circulation revenues, buoyed by digital subscriptions and price increases, are holding even or increasing. And some companies are generating growing revenue from other activities like contract printing and social media marketing services. Those categories of revenue are not measured quarterly by NAA.

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  • redmonds

    Good to hear from you, Elaine, and I very much concur. Last paragraph of this post touched on the point.

    I have also been talking to NAA about the issue for the better part of a year. Chairman Jim Moroney agrees that revenue growth has broadened beyond what happens to print and digital advertising. But saying those new streams should be measured and actually doing it are two different things. I am hopeful that 2013 will be the year that the metrics catch up with the current realities of the industry in which these non-traditional activities have a big role.

    BTW any graph or industry snapshot or comparison to Google that leaves out circulation revenue is also defective. That is a steady $10 billion or a little less every year.

  • Elaine Clisham

    When are we going to start showing revenue charts that include more than just advertising? Where is event revenue, e-pub sales, etc.? If we want newspapers to adopt a more multi-faceted revenue strategy, we need to be reporting on those other revenue streams as though they’re actually important, no?

  • redmonds

    Good catch, sangus 2.

    Make that $5 billion.

  • sangus2

    That chart can’t be right. Only $5 million in print ad sales in the entire country in the third quarter? Am I missing something?