Digital Ad Spend for Newspapers Isn’t Very Good Either

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We’ve seen a lot of reports about the decline in advertising sales for newspapers, especially since 2005, but the hope has always been that some of  those lost print dollars would move over to digital ad sales for newspapers.  Well, this chart from a blog post at tells us that that hasn’t happened.

Digital ad sales being flat isn’t good for the newspaper business model.   The blog post explains it this way,

 … the over-all market for digital advertising between Q3-06 and Q3-12 grew by 114% while digital sales at newspapers increased by only 19% in the same period.

One of the reasons newspapers are underperforming the market is that they have built their interactive businesses on the two weakest digital advertising categories: banner and classified advertising.

As reported on page 21 of this IAB presentation, the percentage of digital ad dollars spent on banner advertising in the first half of the year has dropped annually for the last three years.   The percentage of dollars spent on online classified advertising has tumbled by more than half since 2006.

Again, we have to say that printed newspapers aren’t going completely away, we do have to say that they aren’t what they used to be and local ad dollars should be moving elsewhere.

The place to be? Search,

The single most significant digital ad category is search, which consistently has accounted for nearly half of all expenditures since 2008, according to IAB.

If you’re responsible for the marketing a major brand at retail, take heed.


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