UK Ad Spending Booms, But Newspapers Sink

While it’s probably cold comfort to U.S. newspaper publishers, their peers across the pond are just as badly off – if not even worse – judging by the latest national figures for the UK advertising market.

While overall British advertising spending had a banner year with high-single digit growth, national newspapers remain headed firmly in the opposite direction.

Total advertising spending in the UK jumped 7.5% to £20.1 billion in 2015, or $29.4 billion, marking the fastest annual growth ate since 2010, following the economic downturn at the end of the last decade, according to figures from the Advertising Association/Warc cited by The Guardian, which reported the news.

However, total ad spending in national newspapers in the UK tumbled 11% to £1.2 billion, or $1.8 billion.

Print advertising in national newspapers fell 9.6% to £435 million or $636 million, while “popular” and tabloid titles experienced an even steeper fall of 16.2% in print ads, to £565 million or $826 million, while total ad spending at regional newspapers slipped 6.2% to £1.17 billion or $1.7 billion.

For the most part, British newspapers saw digital advertising remain stagnant, similar to the fortunes of newspaper publishers in the U.S. in recent years, although regional papers provided a bright spot with digital ads up 14.8% to £200 million or $293 million.

By comparison, Internet advertising spending in the UK soared 17.3% to £8.6 billion or $12.6 billion.

While UK newspapers face the same travails as their American counterparts in their domestic market, in recent years many British publications have turned to the U.S. as a major English-speaking market to fuel global growth.

On that note, the Daily Mail’s Mail Online advertising revenues from the U.S. are growing fast, growing 38% in the year ending in September, to roughly $27 million or £18 million, while 40% of the total monthly audience of 212 million unique visitors to Mail Online came from the U.S. last year.

Similarly, last fall, The Guardian announced that its U.S. readership had grown 30% year-over-year to 30.2 million, representing over a third of the company’s total global audience, while revenue increased 80%.

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