First Quarter Newspaper Online Ad Revenues Up 22.3%

(via the Center for media research)

According to preliminary estimates from the Newspaper Association of America, advertising expenditures for newspaper Web sites increased by 22.3 percent to $750 million in the first quarter versus the same period a year ago. Advertising on newspaper Web sites made up 7.1 percent of total newspaper ad spending in the first quarter compared with 5.5 percent for the same period a year ago. (…) Advertising expenditures at newspapers and their Web sites totaled $10.6 billion for the first quarter of 2007, a 4.8 percent decrease from the same period a year earlier. Spending for print ads in newspapers totaled $9.8 billion, down 6.4 percent versus the same period a year earlier.

Of note in the first quarter of 2007, classified advertising fell 13.2 percent to $3.4 billion with the following detailed information:

  • Real estate advertising fell 14.2 percent to $953 million
  • Recruitment dropped 14.3 percent to $975.3 million
  • Automotive was down 20.1 percent to $751.3 million
  • All other classifieds were down 0.5 percent to $699.3 million

What it means: clearly, growth in online advertising revenues at newspapers does not compensate for loss of print revenues. Especially important are drop in automotive, real estate and recruitment (three verticals that are really strong online). What’s most important at this point is making sure newspapers increase the traffic to their web properties by all means (distribution agreements, search engine optimization, launch of new verticals and hyperlocal sites, etc.).
The creation of forced Print/Online bundles might also help them sustain their total revenues while online monetization improves in the future.