Circ Problem? ‘Not Here,’ Rest Of World Says

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By: E&P Staff

For all the hand-wringing about falling newspaper circulation in the United States, the global circ picture looks pretty rosy, the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) concludes in a report to be formally issued next month.

Worldwide, newspaper circulation paid circulation increased 1.9% over the past year — and has grown by 8.7% in the past five years.

On an average day, 510 million copies are sold — and 1.4 billion around the world read a newspaper.

For the first time ever, the number of paid newspapers launched in a single year pushed passed the 11,000 mark, WAN said.

When free newspapers are added to the mix, global circulation grew 4.3% year-over-year. Free daily newspaper circulation has more than doubled in the last five years to an average of 40.8 million copies daily.

The WAN figures come from 200 nations or territories, and were gathered for its annual World Press Trends survey, which will be released at next month’s World Newspaper Editors Forum in Cape Town, South Africa.

“The prognosis for newspapers is actually quite different to conventional wisdom,” WAN President Gavin O’Reilly said at a press conference announcing the preliminary results. O’Reilly is COO Independent News & Media Ltd.

Newspaper advertising revenues increased 4% worldwide in the last year, 15.6% over the past five years, WAN found.

Print, it said, remains the biggest advertising medium in the world, with a 42% share. By themselves, newspapers are the second largest — behind television — with 29.4% of the spend on advertising globally.

WAN has begun an initiative to highlight the power of newspaper, “and to rectify some of the absurd and damaging claims being made about its imminent demise,” said the association representing some 18,000 newspapers from 102 countries, plus the national newspaper association of 76 nations.

Among other things, the WAN campaign asserts that in the last two years “more new and innovative newspaper products have been launched than over the prior 30 years.”

“I want to suggest that the risk profile for newspapers has now shifted to the upside — in other words, newspapers are back on the investment horizon,” O’Reilly said. “That is not to say that everyone is universally bullish about them yet, but with newspaper multiples nearing historic lows, they now represent a fantastic investment opportunity.”





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