STATE OF THE NEWSPAPER: Newspaper publishers were able to cobble together increases in circulation last year, according to the Newspaper Association of America, which released 2013 data on the business.
In a memo headlined “Business Model Evolving, Circulation Revenue Rising,” the NAA said circulation revenue for U.S. newspapers recorded the second consecutive year of growth, rising 3.7 percent to $10.87 billion in 2013. Circulation was lifted by a 47 percent rise in digital-only revenue and a 108 percent expansion of print and digital bundled circulation. But with many companies shifting to all-access packages, those increases came at the expense of print-only subscriptions from home delivery and single-copy sales, which dropped 20 percent.
Total revenue slid 2.6 percent to $37.59 billion from $38.6 billion in 2012. By category, $23.57 billion came from advertising across all platforms, $10.87 billion from circulation and $3.15 billion from new and other sources.
Advertising revenue, which fell 6.5 percent, was weighed down by an 8.6 percent decline in print revenue, which totaled $17.3 billion. Those declines in print ads were partially due to drops in retail and national ads, which fell 8 percent each, and classified advertising, which contracted 10.5 percent. Also pulling down ad revenue was niche and non-daily publications, which experienced a 5.8 percent dip in revenues to $1.45 billion.
On the bright side, direct marketing sales grew 2.4 percent to $1.4 billion, as digital advertising eked out a 1.5 percent increase to $3.42 billion. About 24 percent of that gain came from advertising that appeared only in newspapers’ digital platforms, not in their print editions.
New and other revenue, which accounted for just over 8 percent of total newspaper media revenue, included income from royalties, licensing and event marketing sales. Within that category, e-commerce continued to struggle, with revenues slipping 4 percent.