Global Newspaper Trends: Readership Remains High

Submitted by: Phil Riebel 01/03/2013

According to the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers annual update of World Press Trends, in a world with a population of approximately 7 billion, in 2012 more than 2.5 billion people read their daily newspapers in print, 500 million read daily newspapers in both print and online, and 100 million accessed online daily newspapers only.


January 1 2013, Print In The Mix

According to the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) annual update of World Press Trends, in  a world with a population of approximately 7 billion, in 2012 more than 2.5 billion people read their daily newspapers in print, 500 million read daily newspapers in both print and online, and 100 million accessed online daily newspapers only.

Newspaper advertising revenues have been declining as revenues lost in print have not been replaced by digital advertising. The study found that "this decline correlates with a lack of 'intensity' when it comes to digital news reading: digital news consumers spend less time and visit fewer pages on digital platforms than they do in print."

Additional  2012 World Press Trends update findings:

Readership

  • Despite circulation declines in mature markets, newspaper reader levels remain high – Western Europe and North America have the highest levels of readership by region.
  • Free newspapers continue to be a factor in many markets, and saw global distribution of 36 million in 2011.
  • Asia now accounts for a third of global circulation and has seen circulations grow by 16% over five years, while those in Western Europe and North America have declined by 17% during the same period.
  • Newspaper circulation grew 3.5% in Asia year-on-year, and 4.8% in the Middle East and North Africa. It fell 3.4% in Europe, 3.3% in Latin America, and 4.3% in North America. Circulation in Australasia was stable.
  • Scandinavian, along with Switzerland and Austria, continue to have the highest readership of newspapers per capita, with South Korea and Hong Kong rising to top 10 positions.
  • More than 2.5 billion people read newspapers in print at least once a week and 600 million read newspapers online. Of those online readers, 500 million read both print and online and 100 million access newspapers in their digital version only.
  • Time spent reading newspapers has remained relatively flat over the past five years, while internet usage levels have increased by approximately 20 minutes during the same period.
  • More than 40% of the world’s digital audience read a newspaper online, up from 34% a year ago.
  • Newspaper paid-for circulation increased by 1.1% globally in 2011 compared with 2010, to 512 million.
  • The global newspaper audience has grown by 4.2% since 2007.
Ad Revenues
  • Newspapers are a US$200 billion dollar annual industry.
  • Newspaper advertising has declined 25% globally over the past five years. North America alone accounts for nearly three-quarters of this decline. Declines in Western Europe have eased in recent years.
  • Newspaper advertising revenue totaled US$96 billion in 2011, 20% of the overall ad market, down from US$128 billion in 2007.
  • North America accounts for 72% of the decline in the value of newspaper advertising worldwide. Advertising declines in Western European newspapers have eased in recent years.
  • Much of the advertising revenue decline has also been in classified, which has fallen from 24% of all newspaper advertising to 19% over five years.
  • Classified has been particularly severely hit in the United States, where it has fallen by 65% in five years.

Digital Ad Revenues

  • Digital is having only a small impact on newspaper revenues, says the report, compared to print. While there are some markets, notably the U.S. and Sweden, where digital revenues exceed 10% of all advertising, digital accounted for only an estimated 2.2% of all newspaper advertising globally last year, or 2.1 billion dollars.
  • Overall digital advertising market rose from US$ 42 billion to US$76 billion from 2007 to 2011. Only 2.2% of total newspaper advertising revenues in 2011 came from digital platforms.
  • Search advertising accounts for 58% of all digital advertising and 13% of all advertising expenditure.
  • While digital advertising revenues are growing steadily, television continues to be the dominant medium, with 40% of the world’s advertising. Internet advertising is growing rapidly, but much of this is far from traditional media advertising: 58% of it comes from search.

Media Share of Global Advertising 

Media

% of Total

Global Television

40%

Newspapers

19% 

Internet

18% 

Other

23% 

Source: WAN-IFRA World Press Trends, November 2012                                                              


About: The WAN-IFRA World Press Trends survey is the largest of its kind, containing data from more than 75 countries, representing more than 90% of global industry turnover. The 2012 report includes circulation data from over 150 countries drawn from local sources and auditing bureaus, and covers over 97% of the world’s newspaper industry by turnover. The total global print readership figure covers only daily newspapers of which there are approximately 12,000 worldwide, with a total circulation every day well in excess of half a billion. It excludes readership among non-daily and Sunday newspapers, of which there are an estimated 80,000 worldwide. These are likely have readership levels exceeding those of daily newspapers.