It’s a good thing the newspaper industry is finally embracing paywalls, because print ad spending is going down the drain.
According to Alan Mutter, the dean of newspaper economics, newspaper print ad spending tanked another 6% in the first half of 2013, despite the economic recovery.
All other ad spending, meanwhile, grew, or at least held flat.
The newspaper ad spending collapse has been monumental. After peaking in the early 2000s, print ads have dropped off a cliff, and “digital dimes” haven’t replaced them. On an inflation-adjusted basis, newspaper print ad spending is now back to 1950s levels.
Fortunately, print newspapers are not the same thing as “journalism.”
Unlike print newspapers, journalism is in great shape. TV and radio are doing fine, most magazines are hanging in there, and some newspapers are even transitioning well to digital. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, smartphones, and dozens of other digital technologies are putting eyes, ears, and a printing press in everyone’s pocket all around the world. And digital journalism, meanwhile, is growing rapidly and getting better by the day.
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