Newspaper Online Ad Growth Slows — As Print Revenue Keeps Skidding

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By: Jennifer Saba

Newspaper online advertising revenue growth is starting to slow, according to the most recent data from the Newspaper Association of America.

In Q1, advertising spending for newspaper Web sites increased 22.3% to $750 million compared to the same period last year. In the first quarter of 2006, newspaper online ad revenue advanced 34.9% to $613 million.

However, online advertising revenue makes up more of total ad revenue in Q1 versus the same period a year ago. In Q1 of this year, online advertising expenditures represent 7.1% of total ad revenue versus 5.5% for Q1 2006.

Newspaper print advertising revenue fell sharply in Q1, down 6.4% to $9.8 billion. The growth realized with online advertising revenue did not push up total ad spending. Combined, print and online advertising revenue declined 4.8% to $10.6 billion in Q1.

The print classified category weighed down results. Classified advertising revenue dropped 13.2% to $3.4 billion. Within the category, real estate decreased 14.2%, help-wanted declined 14.3%, and automotive plummeted 20.1%.

In a statement, John Sturm, president and CEO of the NAA, said: “While the classified category demonstrates the impact of how consumers and advertisers use the various media options available today, newspapers continue to make aggressive moves to redefine classified advertising revenue through new online partnerships and other approaches that will position them for the future.”

Print retail advertising revenue for the quarter was down 2.2% to $4.8 billion. Print national advertising revenue fell 2.8% to $1.7 billion.


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