Commentary

Newspaper Growth in 216 Countries and Territories

Newspaper Growth in 216 Countries and Territories

New data from WAN's annual survey of world press trends released at the 59th World Newspaper Congress and 13th World Editors Forum in Moscow, Russia, showed that paid circulation grew +0.56 percent worldwide in 2005 from a year earlier, taking global sales to a new high of 439 million daily. With free dailies added, daily circulation increases to 464 million, a +1.21 percent increase from the total of paid and free dailies in 2004. Free dailies now account for 6 percent of all global newspaper circulation and 17 percent in Europe alone.

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Advertising revenues in paid dailies were up +5.7 percent last year from a year earlier, and up +11.7 percent over five years, WAN said. No figures were available for free daily advertising revenues.

Timothy Balding, Chief Executive Officer of the Paris-based WAN, said "Overall, the audience for newspapers keeps on growing, both in print and online. Newspapers are increasing their reach through the exploitation of a wide range of new distribution channels, ranging from daily free newspapers to online editions. They are proving to be incredibly resilient against the onslaught of a wide range of media competition."

The survey, which WAN has published annually since 1986, this year includes information on all countries and territories where newspapers are published -- 216. Some of the interesting statistics include:

  • 2005 saw the best advertising performance in four years, with a revenue increase of 5.7 percent.
  • The audience for newspaper web sites continued to grow and was up by+8.71 percent in 2005 and +200 percent over the past five years.
  • More than 439 million people buy a newspaper every day, up from 414 million in 2001. Average readership is estimated to be more than one billion people each day.
  • Seven of 10 of the world's 100 best selling dailies are now published in Asia. China, Japan and India account for 62 of them.
  • Newspapers in seven European Union countries increased their total circulation in 2005. They were: Austria +0.42 percent, Czech Republic +4.88 percent, Ireland +2.16 percent, Italy +0.03 percent, Poland +9.80 percent, Slovenia +19.44 percent, and the United Kingdom, +0.05 percent.
  • Those reporting losses were: Belgium -1.35, Denmark -2.64, Estonia -0.39, Finland -0.67, France - 1.6, Germany -2.5, Greece -4.05, Hungary -0.68, Latvia -2.25, The Netherlands - 3.67, Portugal -3.88, Slovakia - 4.17, Spain 0.94, and Sweden -1.34.
  • The circulation of US dailies fell -2.35 percent in 2005 and -4.02 percent over five years. Most of the decline came in evening dailies, which saw a year-on-year circulation decline of -6.6 percent, compared with only -1.6 percent for morning dailies. Over the past five years, evening dailies declined -17.5 percent, compared with a -1.4 percent drop for morning newspapers.
  • The Japanese have surpassed the Norwegians as the world's greatest newspaper buyers, with 634 daily sales per thousand adults in Japan and 626 per thousand in Norway. Finland comes next with 518 followed by Sweden with 481.
  • Newspapers share of the world ad market held relatively steady with 30.2 percent, marginally down from 30.3 percent in 2004. Newspapers remain the world's second largest advertising medium, after television, and are expected to retain this position for many years.
  • Newspaper advertising revenues in the USA, by far the largest newspaper advertising market in the world, increased by +1.51 percent in 2005 and +7 percent over the last five years.
  • In Russia, advertising revenues for all print media increased +16 percent in 2005.
  • In India, newspaper advertising revenues increased +23.18 percent over one year and +107.69 percent over the last five. South Africa also saw remarkable gains -- +20.71 percent over one year and 232.23 percent over five years. Turkey's percentage gains were even higher -- +39.14 percent in 2005 and +236.61 percent over the past five years.
  • Newspaper online consumption rose +8.71 percent in 2005, and +200 percent over the past five years.
  • Internet advertising revenues continue to grow rapidly, and were up 24 percent in 2005, the highest growth for five years.

The World Press Trends 2006 edition is now available here.

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