Newspapers lose print dollars and are out for digital pennies

CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

French newspapers and magazines illustrating the terror attacks in a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray on 26 July are on display in a bookstore at a train station in Paris, France, 27 July 2016.

Newspapers lose print dollars and are out for digital pennies


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The ad-buying group GroupM estimates that the global print newspaper industry will claim €48,1bn in revenue in 2016. To put this in context, there is an estimated €484bn global advertising market.

That is an 8,7% drop year on year, the biggest since a 13,7% during the Lehman Brothers crisis year (2008-2009); magazines will “only” lose 2,9%.

No print medium is safe, as they are read by a shrinking and aging audience, which marketing experts are leaving behind. The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Daily Mail, The Times, The Guardian, tabloids and broadsheets, popular newspapers and opinion leaders are losing out.

And they are firing.

Newspapers go digital. That allows them to become platforms in which marketers can embed more aggressive videos, but also to immediately asses the value they are getting for their money by increasingly sophisticated audience analytics.

Those analytics are relentless. According to GroupM, in 2016 global advertising revenue will grow by 4%, but digital advertising will surge by 14%. Part of the reason is “productivity.” It costs four times as much to reach the same amount of audience by print as it does by electronic platforms.

The Independent was the first national newspaper in the U.K to go digital only. The newspaper’s digital strategy allowed it to enlarge its audience and its revenue, but it is a much smaller venture. The Times have been moving resources to their digital arm too.

But, for global newspaper brands, there is big social media competition for Google and Facebook. Newspaper and magazine platforms are losing ground, often replacing print euros for electronic pennies.

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