Articles about "Circulation"


USA Today, WSJ, NYT top U.S. newspapers by circulation

Alliance for Audited Media

The Alliance for Audited Media issued its last-ever six-month circulation report today. Here are the top newspapers in the U.S., by total average circulation in September 2014:

  1. USA Today (4,139,380)
  2. The Wall Street Journal (2,276,207)
  3. The New York Times (2,134,150)

AAM is discontinuing the print report in favor of more detailed, more frequent reports on individual titles. This edition doesn’t include comparisons to previous totals, which is kind, in a way, as rule changes have made comparisons to past performance, or other publications, increasingly difficult.

A peek behind those great numbers shows why. Let’s start with USA Today, whose Monday-Friday total average circulation rocketed 43 percent, from 2,876,586 to 4,139,380. Its average Monday-Friday print circulation dropped 17 percent over September 2013, from 1,316,865 to 1,083,200. But USA Today has used AAM rule changes to post astonishing circulation increases since this time last year: a 67 percent rise in September 2013, a 94 percent rise in March of this year. It counts digital editions and the “butterfly” editions that run in other Gannett-owned newspapers, for instance, which is part of the reason it now avers a Sunday circulation of 3,686,797 even though it doesn’t run a traditional edition that day.

The Journal actually saw a tiny increase in average Monday-Friday print circulation over September 2013 — a rise of 3,680 copies, or .27 percent. Its total average Monday-Friday circulation centimetered up to 2,276,207 from 2,273,767.

And the Times’ average Sunday print circulation fell 3.5 percent, to 1,181,160 from 1,224,069 in September 2013. Its average Monday-Friday print circulation fell 5.4 percent over the same period, to 639,887 from 676,633.

AAM cautions against making comparisons to past numbers while describing its rule changes this year. It previously allowed newspapers to count branded editions (which could be a lawn-delivered total market coverage product, or a Spanish-language edition, or in the case of The New York Times, the International New York Times) and digital nonreplica editions, which can include apps.

Just for the heck of it, here are a few more newspaper numbers:

The Washington Post’s average Sunday print circulation fell 5.7 percent, to 568,365 from 602,830 in September 2013. Its average Monday-Friday print circulation fell nearly 7 percent, to 377,466 from 405,035 over the same period. Its total average circulation on Sundays fell 3 percent, to 776,806 from 800,643.

The Los Angeles Times’ average Sunday print circulation fell 6.5 percent, to 685,473 from 733,101 in September 2013. Its average Monday-Friday print circulation fell nearly 7 percent over the same period, to 370,990 from 398,202. Its total average circulation on Sundays was very slightly up, to 965,598 from 963,751.

The Orange County Register, which has pursued a print-first strategy, saw its average Sunday print circulation rise 24 percent, 333,661 from 267,121 in September 2013. Read more

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Reporter declines to reapply for her job, gets laid off

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Reporter declines to reapply for her job, gets laid off Burlington Free Press reporter Lynn Monty decided not to consummate the process of reapplying for her job last week. The Free Press, like many other Gannett papers, has asked staffers to reapply for jobs in reimagined “newsrooms of the future.” “I loved my job, but I don’t love Gannett,” Monty tells Paul Heintz. “I will make a new way for myself that doesn’t compromise my integrity.” (Seven Days)
  2. The last circulation report The Alliance for Audited Media will release its final print Snapshot report today. Because of more rule changes, “we advise against comparing year-over-year data,” AAM cautions. (AAM) | I wrote last October about how some other recent rules made comparisons difficult. (Poynter)
  3. Two attempts to explain why your friend Gordon is blue over the Jian Ghomeshi mess Canadians have an ” intrinsic and profound” relationship with the CBC, and the scandal further diminishes the institution, Adam Sternbergh writes. (Vulture) | “[T]here was once a hope that people in powerful positions were trying their best to do well by the country,” Michelle Dean writes. “That is gone, and people are, I think, sad to see that they now must extend the cynicism and bad feelings to cultural figures as well.” (Gawker)
  4. John Cantlie “reports” for Islamic State The captured British journalist appears in a package purporting to be from Kobani. (The Telegraph)
  5. The dream of an iTunes for news will never die The New York Times Co. and Axel Springer led a funding round for Blendle, a Dutch startup that sells a la carte access to articles. (Gigaom) | Blendle cofounder Alexander Klöpping “says he’s in talks with U.S. publishers (he declined to name any), which tend to have few foreign subscribers and sell ads at junk rates in countries where they don’t have a sales force.” (Bloomberg Businessweek)
  6. Reporting under duress The International Women’s Media Foundation gave Solange Lusiku Nsimire, editor-in-chief of Congo’s Le Souverain, a Courage in Journalism award last week. “I want to find shelter for my children, who are very much at risk,” she tells Eleanor Klibanoff. “But as long as democracy is not established and human rights are not respected, I feel that I need to continue reporting.” (NPR) | Related: New CPJ report shows journalists are still being killed with impunity in most parts of the world. (Poynter) | Also related: At a White House Correspondents’ Association seminar Saturday, Susan Page called the Obama administration “‘more dangerous’ to the press than any other in history.” (WP) | Also related: An Israeli border policeman shot AP photographer Majdi Mohammed with rubber bullets. (AP)
  7. FBI made a fake newspaper article “The FBI in Seattle created a fake news story on a bogus Seattle Times Web page to plant software in the computer of a suspect in a series of bomb threats to Lacey’s Timberline High School in 2007.” (Seattle Times)
  8. Papa’s peepin’ peeps The annual Spy Prom in D.C. honored Ernest Hemingway. (HuffPost) | Related: Hemingway got a Nobel on this day in 1954. (Poynter)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare The New York Daily News uses wordplay to challenge Obama’s Ebola czar.

    NYDN-10282014  

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Sarah Lumbard is now senior digital curator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s National Institute of Holocaust Education. Previously, she was vice president of content strategy and operations at NPR. (Poynter) | Fred Santarpia will be executive vice president and chief digital officer at Condé Nast. Previously, he was executive vice president at Condé Nast Entertainment. (Poynter) | Hassan Hamdani is editor-in-chief at HuffPost Morocco. Previously, he was editor-in-chief of TelQuel’s multimedia division. (HuffPost) | Bernardo Chévez is now vice president of technology at Hearst Magazines International. Previously, he was director of engineering at Condé Nast. (Fishbowl NY) | Job of the day: The Washington Post is looking for an editorial copy editor. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

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Ben Bradlee

Ben Bradlee is receiving hospice care

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. ESPN asks dudes to address domestic violence: A two-hour pregame show preceding Monday Night Football will feature, among other things, a panel discussion featuring 11 men, Ben Collins reports. “When the show has updates from the field—brief reports about injuries and the upcoming game—they’ll cut to female sideline reporters, Lisa Salters and, on some weeks, Suzy Kolber. ¶ These people are not allowed at the table.” (Esquire) | UPDATE, 12:39 P.M.: ESPN says no such panel is planned. (Deadspin)
  2. Ben Bradlee is getting hospice care: The former Washington Post editor has dementia, his wife, Sally Quinn, said in a C-SPAN interview broadcast Sunday. (Politico) | “[O]ver time, his condition became more difficult to manage.” (WP)
  3. Reporting is dangerous: Indian journalist Rajdeep Sardesai was harassed outside Madison Square Garden Sunday, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke. (The Times of India) | “Mob of people attacking an Indian journalist for being critical of Modi on the past.” (@JFK_America) | AP photographer Andre Penner was “punched and kicked Friday at a presidential campaign event in Brazil.” (AP)
  4. Instagram blocked in mainland China: “While the exact reason behind the shutdown was not immediately confirmable, it seemed likely that the sudden mainland disruption was linked to the flood of images related to the Hong Kong protests on Instagram.” (FP) | On Sunday more than a 100,000 people in Hong Kong downloaded FireChat, which allows chat over WiFi and Bluetooth. (South China Morning Post)
  5. Magazines want to be count their readers in a new manner: Using circulation numbers “simply and significantly underrepresents the actual audience,” Association of Magazine Media honcho Mary Berner tells Nicole Levy. (Capital) | “Readers or viewers are likely to be counted multiple times depending on how they access the content any given month.” (WSJ) | You can look at the “Magazine Media 360⁰ Brand Audience Data” here. | Definitely related: It’s Advertising Week. | Slightly related: Under art editor Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker’s covers have become edgier and more topical, moving away from what Editor David Remnick calls “a lot of abandoned beach houses, bowls of fruit and covers reflecting the change of seasons.” (NYT) | Definitely related to that slightly related item: This week’s cover has an animated GIF. (The New Yorker)niemann-cover-690x962
  6. The Mercury News has moved: New building lacks a moat. “It’s something I’ve dreamed about for years but never thought would really happen,” Sal Pizarro writes. (San Jose Mercury News)
  7. Jeff Bezos talks to press: In an interview (!) with Mihir Dalal, Leslie D’Monte and Shrutika Verma, Bezos hinted at his ambitions with regard to The Washington Post. “[I]f you have a great newsroom … you can go from having a really successful local paper, which is what the Washington Post was, you can go from that to being a national paper and even a global paper. (Mint)
  8. ONA ends with awards: An awards banquet Saturday closed out the conference, with ProPublica, The Seattle Times and the Los Angeles Times taking home some hardware. (ONA) | “This must be the TSA’s way of saying ‘Congratulations on winning five sharp, pointy lucite awards.’” (@kleinmatic)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: A cloud of teargas looms over a crowd of protesters on the front of the South China Morning Post.scmp_09292014
  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Bryan Zidar is now managing director of corporate communications for Alaska Airlines. Previously, he was director of corporate communications at T-Mobile US. (PR Newser) | Taimur Ahmad is now CEO of LatinFinance. Previously, he was editor-in-chief there. Katie Llanos-Small is now editor-in-chief of LatinFinance. Previously, she was news editor there. (Marketwired) | Judy Davidoff will be editor at Isthmus. Previously, she was news editor there. (Madison.com) | Job of the day: The Montrose (Colorado) Daily Press is looking for a news editor and paginator. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

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Digital editions up slightly at U.S. magazines

AAM

Digital edition circulation rose at U.S. magazines in the first half of 2014, according to the Alliance for Audited Media’s most recent report. But digital editions represented only 3.8 percent of total circulation, compared with 3.3 percent in June 2013. Paid subscriptions fell nearly 2 percent, AAM’s Neal Lulofs writes. Single copy sales fell about 12 percent.

AARP The Magazine and the AARP Bulletin were the top magazines in the U.S. Both saw circulation gains. Circulation at Game Informer Magazine, the fourth-biggest title, fell 9 percent, but was still relatively massive: 7,099,452. GameStop owns Game Informer and bundles subscriptions to it with the chain’s paid loyalty card, Michael Sebastian reported last year.

The Top 10 magazines (and their total paid, verified, analyzed and non-paid circulation):

  1. AARP The Magazine (22,837,736, up 4.1 percent)
  2. AARP Bulletin (22,183,316, up 2.2 percent)
  3. Better Homes and Gardens (7,639,661, up .2 percent)
  4. Game Informer Magazine (7,099,452, down 9.3 percent)
  5. Good Housekeeping (4,315,330, down 1.9 percent)
  6. Family Circle (4,015,728, flat)
  7. National Geographic (3,572,348, down 10.7 percent)
  8. People (3,510,533, down .9 percent)
  9. Reader’s Digest (3,393,573, down 35.3 percent)
  10. Woman’s Day (3,288,335, down 3.1 percent)

Some news magazine stats:

  • Time‘s circulation was down about half a percentage point, to 3,286,467.
  • Wired‘s circulation rose 6.8 percent, to 917,580.
  • The New Yorker‘s circulation was 1,049,430, down .6 percent.
  • The New Republic‘s circulation fell 11 percent to 41,429.
  • Bloomberg Businessweek‘s circulation fell half a point, to 992,582.
  • The Atlantic‘s circulation fell 1.5 percent, to 480,317.
  • The Week‘s circulation rose 3.2 percent, to 579,291.

The Top 10 digital replica magazines (and their digital replica circulation):

  1. Game Informer Magazine (2,894,248)
  2. Shape (296,157)
  3. Star Magazine (237,333)
  4. OK! Weekly (196,248)
  5. Working Mother (194,167)
  6. Maxim (186,863)
  7. National Geographic (164,408)
  8. Taste of Home (160,198)
  9. Men’s Fitness (156,600)
  10. Cosmopolitan (154,278)

Worth noting: The next nine magazines after Game Informer have a combined digital replica total of 1,746,252, about 60 percent of Game Informer’s digital circulation. Read more

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Earns Gannett

Circulation revenue rises at Gannett’s local papers

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 (OK, perhaps slightly more than 10) media stories.

  1. Gannett had a good second quarter: Broadcast revenue was “almost 88 percent higher in the quarter compared to the second quarter last year.” Publishing advertising revenue fell about 5 percent; circulation was roughly flat, and “At local domestic publishing sites, home delivery circulation revenue was up in the quarter due, in part, to strategic pricing actions associated with enhanced content.” (Gannett)
  2. Washington Post fights the “wonk wars”: The Washington Post’s new “Storyline” project is “dedicated to the power of stories to help us understand complicated, critical things,” Editor Jim Tankersley writes. (The Washington Post) | Michael Calderone takes a look: “It’s unlikely The Post would’ve launched a project like Storyline a few years ago.” (HuffPost) | Tankersley writes that as a college student he was inspired by Richard Read‘s 1998 series about french fries: “Those stories brought the crisis home in a way no textbook or straight news piece could, because at each step, they showed how global trends touched people’s lives and livelihoods.” (The Oregonian)
  3. Why corrupt politicians should avoid Vermont: Vermont has the best-covered legislature in the country, and California has the worst, Pew finds. It takes another view of its data on statehouse reporters, looking at the relationship between the number of reporters and states’ population. (Pew) | “Yes, most national news sites have had to slim down but they remain major behemoths in terms of staff. Regional and local news organizations have been hit far harder, meaning that the at-the-roots level coverage of politicians and policies is significantly restricted if not nonexistent.” (The Washington Post)
  4. Press secretary lectures reporters on anonymous sources: White House press secretary Josh Earnest complained about the sourcing of a Washington Post story. (The Daily Caller) | The “criticism doesn’t make sense,” Post national editor Cameron Barr says. “We are sometimes compelled to rely on background sources with knowledge of internal deliberations – that is one of the best means available to hold the administration and other powerful institutions to account.” (Poynter) | “This is rich.” (Politico) | “Two reporters pointed out the White House is hosting its own anonymous call Monday afternoon on a job-training report.” (Business Insider) | “What Earnest knows so well is that competitive Beltway reporters will continue participating in those accountability-defying background briefings, even though the White House press secretary is on record as questioning their utility.” (The Washington Post)
  5. Jill Abramson sought friendly press: Women reporters have shown an “absurd display of credulity and clubbiness” while interviewing the former NYT executive editor, Liz Spayd writes. (CJR) | Very slightly related: Here’s Abramson talking about traffic safety. (The Village Voice)
  6. Analyst says Tribune’s newspapers are worth $635 million: That’s “less than 10 percent of Tribune Co.’s total valuation,” Robert Channick reports. (Chicago Tribune)
  7. “I regret wasting time thinking I wasn’t good enough”: Advice for young journalists of color from Cord Jefferson, Anna Holmes, Jenna Wortham, Wesley Lowery and others. (BuzzFeed)
  8. There’s money in events: Functions put on by AtlanticLive, the company’s events business, “now account for close to one-fifth of the Atlantic’s overall revenue.” (DigiDay) | Recently: NPR’s Margaret Low Smith will run AtlanticLive. (Poynter)
  9. Here’s today’s world news, edited by Kristen Hare: Colin Brazier, the Sky News reporter who pulled items out of a suitcase from the MH17 crash while on air, apologized in a column in The Guardian on Tuesday. | Journalists lives are in danger while covering Gaza, Reporters Without Borders wrote Tuesday. Two Palestinian journalists have been killed and four injured so far. | International News Safety Institute reported Monday that “Ukraine was the most dangerous country for journalists” in the first half of the year. So far, seven members of the media have been killed. | Here’s the front page of The West Australian, from Perth, Australia, courtesy Newseum:

    AUS_WA

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Andy Wright is the new publisher of The New York Times Magazine. | Janet Mock has been named a contributing editor to Marie Claire. She’s the author of New York Times bestseller Redefining Realness, and a former staff editor at People. (@janetmock) | Garrett Graff has joined Politico Magazine as a senior staff writer. Formerly, he was editor-in-chief of The Washingtonian. (Politico) | Slate moves: Dan Kois is now culture editor at Slate. (@juliaturner) John Swansburg is deputy editor, Josh Levin is executive editor. (Muck Rack) | Katie Nelson will be national editor at the Huffington Post. Previously, she was deputy managing editor for digital at the New York Daily News. (@Joy_Resmovits) | Zach Pagano has joined KRDO in Colorado Springs, Colorado as a multimedia journalist. Formerly, he was an anchor at KCWY in Casper, Wyoming. (Zach Pagano) | Jon Skorburg will be vice president and general manager at WOI in Des Moines, Iowa. Formerly, he was vice president and general manager at WQRF in Rockford, Illinois. (Mediabistro) | Margaret Schmidt has been named editor of The Jersey Journal. Formerly, she was managing editor of the paper. (The Jersey Journal) Job alert: California’s KQEDis looking for interns to start in September. Get your résumés in! | Send Ben your job moves:bmullin@poynter.org.

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An employee at the St. Paul Pioneer Press printing plant loads a cart with Tuesday's first edition Monday night, Jan. 30, 2006 in St. Paul, Minn. The Pioneer Press is a Knight Ridder paper. Newspaper publisher Knight Ridder Inc., which is actively considering a possible sale of the company, reported a 22 percent decline in fourth-quarter earnings from the same period a year ago, which included earnings from newspapers the company no longer owns in Detroit and Tallahassee, Fla. But the results topped analysts expectations. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Digital circulation figures are an absolute mess

We’ve written quite a bit at Poynter about how newspaper circulation numbers are basically meaningless now. The Alliance for Audited Media tries to provide a helpful framework for reporting digital readership, but the ways we consume news are so varied that it’s tough to nail down exactly what should count.

AAM acknowledges as much, cautioning against reading too much into overall circulation figures, particularly when it comes to generating top 10 lists and such (the organization itself stopped publishing a top 25 list last year). But that doesn’t keep newspapers from celebrating misleading numbers to whatever extent they can, so it didn’t stop me from trying to figure out if the numbers obscure some troubling trends. Read more

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NYT’s big circulation gains include copies of international edition

Average Monday-Friday circulation at The New York Times was 15 percent higher for the six months ending March 2014 than it was in the same period the year before, new figures from the Alliance for Audited Media say. But that figure includes 126,162 branded editions, which AAM rules allow newspapers to roll in alongside print and digital circulation. (A branded edition could be a total market coverage publication containing coupons, for example, or a Spanish-language edition.)

The Times has never before included branded editions in its circulation totals, Times spokesperson Linda Zebian told Poynter in an email. Those figures “are comprised of the International New York Times, and are included in the circulation for every day except Sunday,” Zebian wrote.

Subtract those and the gain is a little more than 8 percent. The paper’s average Sunday circulation went up 8 percent over the year before, to 2,517,307, a figure that does not roll in any branded editions.

USA Today posted another eye-popping circulation increase that fully avails itself of AAM’s rules: A 94 percent rise in average Monday-Friday circulation that includes 668,054 branded editions, as well as 1,365,388 “digital nonreplica” editions, which includes app users. (Sam Kirkland wrote about USA Today’s renewed approach to circulation figures last year.)

Gannett began including a “butterfly edition” of USA Today in some of its local papers last year.

In California, where Orange County Register owner Aaron Kushner has placed great emphasis on print circulation, average Thursday-Saturday circulation rose 50 percent to 754,418, a figure that includes about 465,000 branded editions. Average Sunday circulation went up nearly 76 percent, but that figure, too, was heavily boosted by 230,864 branded editions. Average Thursday-Saturday print circulation was 239,595, and average Sunday print circulation was 388,748.

Both those figures nonetheless represent strong rises over previous periods: average Sunday print circulation was 285,794 in March 2013, a rise of 36 percent. The Register broke out daily circulation figures differently in March 2013, but in September 2013 it reported average Monday-Thursday print circulation of 162,066 meaning that circulation rose about 48 percent. Read more

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McClatchy explains change in circulation revenue

The McClatchy Company

Circulation revenue was up nearly 6 percent in McClatchy’s first quarter, the company said in a report Wednesday. But, the report said, that revenue was up less than 1 percent “excluding the $4.3 million in revenue related to the transition to fee-for-service circulation delivery contracts at certain newspapers.”

Reached by email, McClatchy Director of Investors Relations Ryan Kimball said some of the company’s newspapers “transitioned to a different circulation contract” during the first quarter. The contracts are fee for service, which for accountants means their “delivery expenses are no longer netted against circulation revenues and thus makes the reported circulation revenue higher.” So some of the papers had higher revenues and higher delivery expenses, he said. The change “has no impact on operating income or cash flow but we do point it out so investors can get a sense of what circulation revenues did in a given period ignoring the impact of the transition.”

Advertising reveue was down nearly 7 percent compared with the same period in 2013, McClatchy said in its report. The company said nearly half of its advertising revenue now comes from “nontraditional sources.”

The company got $147 million from its stake in Classified Ventures, which recently sold. It expects to receive $34 million from the pending sale of its Anchorage Daily News. Taxes should shrink that nut to $24 million.

Disclosure: Poynter has a training partnership with McClatchy. Read more

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NAA_190

Newspaper industry narrowed revenue loss in 2013 as paywall plans increased

The newspaper industry narrowed its total revenue loss in 2013 to 2.6 percent, the best performance since 2006, according to figures released today by the Newspaper Association of America.

As suggested by earlier year-end reports from public companies, daily and Sunday print advertising revenues were down 8.6 percent and total advertising revenues down 6.5 percent.

However, circulation revenues grew for the second consecutive year, up 3.7 percent in 2013 compared to a 5 percent increase in 2012. That was driven by continued adoption of paywall plans, now at more than 500 of the roughly 1,400 dailies.

Revenue from digital-only subscriptions was up 47 percent, and print + digital bundled subscription revenue grew 108 percent. With many newspapers now offering all print subscribers a free digital access bundle, revenue from print-only subs and single-copy sales was down 20 percent.

Besides the circulation gain, the industry had 2.4 percent growth in digital marketing services offered to local businesses and showed some growth in newer activities like events and conferences.

Total revenue for the industry stands at $37.59 billion compared to $38.60 billion in 2012. Of that, $10.87 billion comes from circulation.

The NAA calculates digital advertising revenue rose 1.5 percent for the year and now accounts for 19 percent of ad revenues. Mobile ad revenue, though still very small, increased 77 percent in 2013.

The NAA has made several changes in how it computes and releases these figures in recent years. In 2013, it stopped releasing quarterly reports, which CEO Caroline Little said usually resulted in negative coverage and thus fueled a “newspapers are dead” narrative.

Starting with last year’s report for 2012, the NAA began trying to include more different sources of revenue in the computation. That resulted in the discovery of about $5.5 billion in revenue in such activities as contract printing and weekly and niche publications owned by dailies that had not been previously counted.

Because of those changes total industry revenue figures for the last two years cannot meaningfully be compared to those for earlier years.

The NAA estimates are based on a survey of both public and private companies along with projections for those papers not reporting.

Today’s report does not include updated estimates for daily and Sunday circulation, the number of daily papers and industry digital traffic. Metrics and sources for these numbers are in transition.

The results underscore the thesis of former NAA Chairman Jim Moroney, publisher of The Dallas Morning News, and others that new revenue streams apart from traditional advertising and circulation are becoming a key element of financial  improvement.

Though digital ad revenue gains again failed to make up for print revenue losses, there was mildly encouraging news on that front. Despite continued downward pressure on prices and tough competition from digital giants with virtually no news operations, the industry eked out a gain.

The NAA also calculated that “pure play” digital ads — that is ones not sold in a combination with print schedules — now account for nearly a quarter of the digital ad total.

The figures also bear on the continuing debate on paywalls.

Companies that continue to offer all digital content for free like many Digital First papers and all of Advance’s are sitting out the main source of revenue growth over the last several years. They are growing digital traffic much more quickly than most, but it is unclear how their digital ad revenue growth compares with potential circulation revenue left on the table.

Paywall critics like Digital First CEO John Paton have suggested that the gains amount to a one-time price increase and may be hard to sustain or even maintain after the first year or two. Part of the 2013 growth doubtless comes from new digital and bundled pay plans.

But The New York Times has introduced both higher and lower priced versions of its initial pay plan this spring, and others are expected to follow suit. So that could be a basis for continued circulation revenue growth on top of the first surge.

Public companies have not yet reported their first quarter 2014 results, but the trend of print and total revenue loss continues. That is resulting in current or prospective cuts to newsrooms and business operations at many companies.

Clarification: A previous version of this story reported the narrower revenue loss in 2013 was the best performance since the mid-2000s. For clarity, it is since 2006. Read more

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Nate Silver: Pulitzer-winning newspapers aren’t immune to circulation losses

FiveThirtyEight

A newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize count has very little effect on its circulation losses, Nate Silver found after a spin through some data:

Does that mean that newspapers might as well forget about quality as an economic strategy? That’s not what this data says. There is a relationship between Pulitzer Prizes and circulation (the correlation is .53 among the 50 newspapers listed here). It’s just that this relationship hasn’t changed much from 10 years ago. The vast majority of newspapers have seen their circulations decline; the ones that win a lot of Pulitzers have suffered about as much as the ones that don’t. You could spin this result as a negative for high-quality journalism — newspapers that win Pulitzers are doing no better at retaining their readers — or as a positive — almost all newspapers are struggling, but the ones that win Pulitzers continue to have more readers.

Silver looked at daily circulation figures, which led to some strangeness: The Times-Picayune dropped 100 percent by his count, for example, because it no longer publishes daily.

Increasingly, though, it’s nearly impossible to wrest any meaning from the circulation figures publishers report to the Alliance for Audited Media. The data are, as Silver might say, very, very noisy.

Some papers count average daily circulation as Monday through Friday. Some do Monday through Saturday. Others, like the Times-Picayune, break out circulation data by individual day. At any rate, Sunday is “by far the most valuable audience for advertisers,” Rick Edmonds wrote in 2012.

Here’s what I wrote last October about circulation in Louisiana in September 2013: Read more

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