Thursday, October 14, 2010

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Encouraging that newspapers were able to hold their own - for a quarter of least. Newspapers' slice of the overall revenue pie will continue to shrink as the size of the web overall continues to grow, particularly in the mobile space.

6:45 AM  
Blogger The Big Blogger said...

Anyone know or willing to speculate as to how much of the increase was due to increases in the arbitrary allocation between print and digital by managements anxious to justify the costs associated with their websites?

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the big stumbling blocks for newspapers isn't that they're not creating competitive digital products - it's that so many of them are failing to promote that fact beyond their own properties. I can't tell you how many times I've had to remind consumers, vendors, media people and even presenters at media conferences that newspaper is NOT synonymous with print. I think it's high time to get rid of the word newspaper and start being media houses as they do in Scandinavia.

4:00 AM  
Blogger Steve Ross said...

Of course, it would be nice to point out that the IAB statistics are batty. IAB claims about $10 billion in online USA ad volume for 2009, for instance, and its numbers trend nicely from year to year. But Google alone did $22 billion in online ad revenue in 2009 -- more than half in the USA -- and seems to have about half the Internet's total US ad volume! Newspapers are a much smaller percentage of the real numbers.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Steve: I think you're right that these aggregate numbers are still incomplete. Useful for trends, perhaps, but maybe not complete. As a small publisher, I wonder if these ad sales surveys might someday capture our end of the market? And how?
- David Boraks,

5:01 AM  

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