The newspaper industry endured another round of declines in advertising revenue in the second quarter of 2010, according to the Newspaper Association of America. But it was significantly smaller than losses in previous quarters, suggesting that the business may be leveling out.
The stats hold out hope that the drop will stabilize or even begin to rebound in forthcoming quarters. The second quarter brought another bright spot, with renewed growth in online ad revenues.
Total newspaper advertising revenues declined 5.6% from $6.82 billion in the second quarter of 2009 to $6.44 billion in second-quarter 2010, according to the NAA, due entirely to a 7.6% drop in print ad revenues from $6.16 billion to $5.7 billion.
Online revenues jumped 13.9% from $653 million to $744 million -- the first time they have experienced double-digit-percentage growth since the fourth quarter of 2007.
As in previous quarters, print losses were spread more or less evenly across the major newspaper ad categories, with declines of 3.1% in national advertising to $1.08 billion; 9.6% in retail to $3.2 billion; and 6.3% in classifieds to $1.4 billion. The classified declines included a 7.3% drop in automotive, an 18.2% drop in real estate, and a 1.8% drop in recruitment.
The second-quarter decline follows a larger loss of 9.7% in the first quarter, which was itself relatively modest compared to double-digit-percentage declines over the course of 2008 and 2009. The last five years have seen an unprecedented shrinking in newspaper ad revenues, which tumbled 47% from $23.48 billion in the first half of 2006 to $12.42 billion in the first half of this year.