Mixed Fortunes for World Newspaper Industry

Mixed Fortunes for World Newspaper Industry

A new survey, presented to publishers and editors at the 55th World Newspaper Congress in Belgium, showed that although newspaper sales in the US have stabilized, US newspapers dropped 11.5 percent in revenue in 2001. In the European Union, nine of 15 countries recorded declines in newspaper circulation, and eight of 15 reported declines in advertising revenue, with only three countries reporting increases in advertising. Additional findings include:

  • Global newspaper sales were up 0.46 percent in 2001 from a year earlier and were up 4.8 percent over the five years from 1997 to 2001;
  • Advertising revenues dropped 7 percent in 2001 in real terms, with 57 percent of countries surveyed showing a decline compared with only 18 percent in the previous year.
  • Newspaper share of the global advertising market stabilized for the first time in 15 years.
  • Daily circulation increase in three EU countries in 2001: Ireland +2.4 percent; Italy +0.4 percent; and Finland +0.21 percent.
Circulation losses were:
  • Austria -2.5 percent;
  • Belgium -1.7 percent;
  • Denmark -1.7 percent;
  • Germany -0.5 percent;
  • Greece -1.5 percent;
  • Luxembourg -0.6 percent;
  • Netherlands -1.5 percent;
  • Sweden -0.4 percent;
  • United Kingdom -1.8 percent.
  • Spain remained stable.
  • No figures available for France or Portugal.
- The circulation of US dailies remained virtually stable in 2001, with a very slight decline of -0.7 percent. Over the five-year period 1997-2001, US circulation has decreased -2 percent.

- In Japan, newspaper sales took a slight circulation dip of -0.3 percent in 2001, the fifth year in succession, and sales have decreased by -1.4 percent over the past five years.

- The latest figures from China, which relate to 2000, show daily circulation increasing +10.1. China also has the largest total daily circulation of any country in the world with 117,815,000 copies sold, followed by Japan (72,699,000 copies), India (66 million copies), and the United States (55,578,000 copies).

- The Norwegians and the Japanese remain the world's greatest newspaper buyers with, respectively, 705 and 667 sales per thousand population each day. Finland comes next with 546 followed by Sweden with 539. Switzerland was next with 448.

- Newspapers take nearly a third of global advertising (32.9 percent). In the key North American, European and Asia-Pacific markets, newspaper advertising share is a remarkably similar 33 percent.

- There appears to be a link between prosperity and media usage; where prosperity increases, television consumption falls, while press consumption increases.

- The rapid growth in the number of on-line editions has stabilized, with only 50 more on-line newspaper editions in 2001 than in 2000 (2959 compared with 2909 from countries reporting this information). The 2001 figure is a 120 percent increase over 1997.

- Nineteen countries reported increases in internet advertising in 2001, or 67 percent of the 28 countries providing information in this category. Six countries said internet advertising had fallen and three reported no change.

- The leader of internet adspend in terms of market share is Sweden and the US, where the internet takes 4.7 percent of the advertising market in both countries -- down from 5.9 percent in Sweden and up from 4 percent in the US in 2000. Other countries with relatively high internet market share are Norway (2.7 percent), Brazil (2.2 percent) and Switzerland (2.3 percent). In Japan, the internet has 1.7 percent of the market, up from 1.4 percent in 2000.

--The World Press Trends 2002 edition is now available through the WAN website.

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