Digital sales at newspapers caught up in Q2
For the first time in 3½ years, digital sales at newspapers caught up with the growth of the rest of the online advertising industry, according to newly released data.
In a bright note for publishers, figures provided this week by the Internet Advertising Bureau showed that sales in all online categories rose by 13.9% to $6.2 billion in the second quarter. The industry-wide advance precisely matches the 13.9% gain in digital advertising by newspapers in the same period. The newspaper stats, which are compiled by the Newspaper Association of America, previously were detailed here.
As illustrated in the graph below, the last time publishers kept pace with the online ad industry was in the fourth quarter of 2006, when digital sales at newspapers rose 35% while volume for the industry as a whole rose 33%.
In the interim, newspapers have lost market share. With $744 million in online sales for the three months ended on June 30 of this year, newspapers claimed 12.0% of the total online market. Back in the fourth period of 2006, by contrast, publishers had a 15.6% share of the entire digital market.
The total online market consists not only of the display and classified advertising typically offered by newspapers but also the search ads sold by such online behemoths as Google and Facebook.