NAA: Online Ad Revenue Keeps Growing — But Print Sinks

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By: Jennifer Saba

Online newspaper advertising keeps growing at a nice clip, according to the latest data from the Newspaper Association of America. During Q4 of last year, online advertising advanced 35% to $745.5 million. In the previous quarter, online advertising increased 23% to $638.3 million.

While newspaper Web sites continue to make revenue gains, it has not been enough to offset the declines in print advertising, which fell 3.7% to $13.2 billion during Q4. Taking online advertising revenue into account with print, Q4 ad revenue slipped 2.2% to $14 billion.

Online ad revenue still represents a small piece of overall ad revenue though that percentage is expected to rise. John Sturm, NAA president and CEO, said in a statement “the latest data show that on average, spending on newspaper Web sites accounted for 5.4% of all newspaper ad spending.”

For print advertising during Q4, the national category declined 3.8% to $2.1 billion. Retail was down 0.9% to $6.3 billion. Classified plunged 7.1% to $4.9 billion. Within the classified category, real estate is starting to show strains slipping 2.3% to $1.5 billion. Recruitment fell 13.7% to $1.3 billion and automotive dropped 11% to $1.2 billion.

For 2006, print and online advertising revenue was flat at $49.3 billion. Total print advertising for the year fell 1.6% to $46.6 billion. Retail dipped 0.3% to $22.1 billion. National dropped 5.1% to $7.5 billion.

Classified slipped 1.9% to $17 billion. Within the classified category, real estate was up 11% to $5.2billion; recruitment was down 7.5% to $4.7 billion, and auto plunged 12.8% to $4 billion.

Online advertising revenue for 2006 was up 31.5% to $2.7 billion.

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