It’s hard to imagine news for the newspaper industry getting worse, but it is–fast. “Newsosaur” Alan Mutter runs the numbers and estimates that newspapers will post $43 billion in print advertising revenue in 2007, down $3.5 billion from last year and equal to the level posted a decade ago, in 1997. Just as bad, Mutter notes that newspapers are now becoming distinctly “un-cool” in advertiser circles, a change in attitude that may finally jar advertisers into realising just how much of that $43 billion is wasted:
As if these fundamentals were not sufficient cause for concern, there also is emerging anecdotal evidence to suggest the historic declines themselves are causing advertisers to think twice about sustaining even their slimmed-down newspaper advertising budgets. Publishers and industry analysts say advertisers are pointing to slumping sales as evidence that newspapers are an unfashionable, inefficient, archaic, and, therefore, undesirable medium.
The Newspaper Association of America, meanwhile, trumpets newspaper online advertising growth of 19% in Q2, but fails to note that this represents 1) a continued deceleration, and 2) the slowest growth since the organisation started keeping track back in 2003. The $45 million sequential increase from Q1 to Q2 was also the smallest absolute increase from Q1 to Q2 since 2003, suggesting that the low-hanging online fruit has already been picked. According to NAA, newspaper online ad revenue totaled $795 million in the quarter, a $3.2 billion run-rate and 7% of overall newspaper ad revenue.
See Also: Running the Numbers: Why Newspapers Are Screwed
Death By Month: Tracking the Newspaper Industry’s Decline