Digital Subscriptions & Newspapers in the Internet Age
Mashable posted an article today about the Wall Street Journal's rapid growth in digital circulation, increasing 62.6 percent from March 2012 to March 2013. This is even faster than the New York Times, which grew at a rate of 41 percent. (Still pretty impressive.) Advertising revenue for Newspapers has taken a steep dive over the last 10 years, moving from over $60,000 million to under $30,000 million. Online advertising started helping a little bit, but as the graph demonstrates, it hasn't stopped the all-out free fall advertising revenue has been in.
The above graph comes from Dr. Mark J. Perry's blog, Carpe Diem. Dr. Perry points out the dramatic nature of the fall in advertising revnue by writing, "It took 50 years to go from about $20 billion in annual newspaper print ad revenue in 1950 (adjusted for inflation) to $63.5 billion in 2000, and then only 12 years to go from $63.5 billion back to less than $20 billion in 2012." He goes on to describe the nature of this change as another example of creative destruction. That is, consumers have moved on to other sources of information and left newspapers behind.
A post on Poynter.com reports that Newspaper circulation remained essentially the same in the six months ending September 30, 2012, but there was an important change. Rick Edmonds of Pointer writes, "With the fast adoption of paywall systems, paid digital has risen to 15.3 percent of the total, compared to 9.8 percent in the 2011 period. That means the print numbers are falling by roughly an equal amount."
The reported numbers might be a little funky though. The Poynter article continues, "... the many papers that offer a bundled subscription including print and several digital platforms can count users on each of those additional platforms as a new circulation, so long as the digital option is accessed once a month."
Regardless, papers that are taking advantage of digital effectively seem to be surviving while other papers, like the ones on the map here --> http://newspaperlayoffs.com/maps/closed/ couldn't quite make it work.