Trends in Newspaper Circulation and Advertising

Posted on 9/3/2010 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

The World Association of Newspapers and Newspaper Publisher has released its annual World Press Trends report covering 223 countries.

Circulation of paid daily papers fell globally by 0.8% in 2009 from a year earlier, to 517 million copies sold. Circulation in Europe is down 5.6% and 4.6% in North America. Circulation in Asia is up 1%, with India and China seeing growth. Free ad-supported newspapers now account for 20% of European and 7% of North American circulation.

The advertising revenue decline of paid daily newspapers is significant; ad dollars were down 25% in North America, 13.7% in Western Europe, 18.7% in Central and Eastern Europe, 9.6% in Asia and 2.9% in Latin America. Middle East and Africa was the only region where the newspaper advertising revenue remained stable.

In the last five years, newspaper advertising revenue is down 17.9% overall, with North America having lost 33%, Western Europe down by 15% and Asia down by 5.4%.

The three largest newspaper markets are India (110 million copies sold daily), China (109 million) and Japan (50 million).

Asia is home to 67 of the world’s 100 largest daily newspapers. By comparison, U.S. circulation was 46 million copies, and Germany published 20 million, ranking as the largest European market.

The WAN-IFRA acknowledges that, “At no time in the foreseeable future will digital advertising revenues replace those lost to print, making the search for new business models—including paid-for online access for news—a key goal for many newspapers.”

Mobile news delivery appears to hold more promise for newspapers than traditional Internet delivery, and mobile content payment is well established. However, an advertising model has yet to emerge.

WAN-IFRA says that newspaper advertising globally still supplies the most bang for the buck, but advertisers apparently believe differently with 39% of global spend going to TV, 24% for newspapers and 12% on the Internet

Copyright © Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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