If you’re involved in local advertising you’re naturally interested in the viability of local newspapers. As consumers move online and away from the printed copies of newspapers, the papers built great internet sites for consumers. Unfortunately, the banner ad revenue never equaled the decline in print advertising so they went to the idea of paywalls to charge consumers for the online content.
Here is a chart from an article on Statista.com that shows the decline in the growth of digital subscriptions to The New York Times.
The article goes on to note,
In the first quarter of 2013, digital subscriber growth slowed down significantly, dropping to just 6 percent quarter-over-quarter. Moreover, for the first time in two years, the rise of digital revenues was too small to make up for the loss of advertising and print revenues. Total circulation revenue of the New York Times Media Group grew 8 percent in the March quarter, but as advertising revenue dropped 11 percent, the Group’s total revenue declined 1 percent.
If The New York Times can’t grow this business at an increasing rate than what luck will most local, smaller circulation papers have?
In order to increase income from their digital property The New York Times is contemplating lowering the cost for online content. Newspapers all over the country are watching closely as are brand managers responsible for co-op advertising funds.