Worldwide, newspapers reach more people than the Internet, WAN-IFRA survey shows


At the World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum in Vienna, Austria, a survey of 69 countries showed where print circulation, revenue and mobile use were rising for newspapers, and where they are declining.

"Circulation is like the sun. It continues to rise in the East and decline in the West," said Christoph Riess, CEO of WAN-IFRA.

Newspaper circulation is rising in Asia and Latin America, but dropping in Europe and most steeply in North America, the survey found. Newspaper revenue was down worldwide, except in Asia where it was up year to year. Details follow.

Newspaper circulation

The annual survey shows that newspapers reach 2.3 billion people daily, while the Internet reaches 1.9 billion. Print circulation for newspapers varies geographically:

In the Asia Pacific region, circulations increased 7 percent from 2009 to 2010, and 16 percent over five years. Latin America also saw significant circulation increases – 2 percent last year and 4.5 percent over the past five years. But drops occurred in Europe – 2.5 percent year-on-year and 11.8 percent over five years in Western Europe and 12 percent last year and 10 percent over five years in Eastern and Central Europe. The decreases were greatest in North America, where newspapers have lost 11 percent of circulation year-on-year and 17 percent over five years.


In North America, newspaper advertising revenues were down 17 percent for the five-year period but increased 1 percent last year. In Western Europe, they were down 12 percent over five years and up 2 percent last year. Eastern Europe saw advertising revenues fall 3 percent over five years and 3 percent last year. In the Asia Pacific, newspaper advertising revenues were down 1 percent over five years but up 4 percent last year. In Latin America, the revenues declined 23 percent over five years and 3 percent last year.


In Russia, for example, mobile penetration is 130 percent compared with 30 percent for Internet, so clearly mobile offers better opportunities. The same goes for India, where 60 percent of its 1 billion population has mobile telephones. In the United States, where the penetration of both mobile and internet is high, both platforms offer opportunities.

WAN-IFRA represents more than 18,000 news organizations in about 120 countries.


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