Newspaper circulation dips further

April 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Media, Online, Print

Print circulation showed another dramatic decline in the US in figures released on Monday.

As Louis Hau from Forbes says in the article linked from Romenesko, circulation decline isn’t the biggest problem, it’s monetising an increasingly online readership.

The industry’s most pressing problem isn’t the state of print circulation, which has been in decline since the mid-1980s. Instead, it is figuring out how to generate more advertising revenue from both its shrinking but still lucrative print product and its growing online properties.

Is it the beginning of the end for newspapers? Not likely, since dropping circulation has been ‘the beginning of the end’ for the last 20 years according to Hau’s quote above.

It’s just the beginning. Smaller community newspapers will continue to provide local news, including in a web presence. Larger metropolitan dailies may become media outlets, of which their newspaper is a component of the news distribution methods they offer, rather than their defining characteristic.

Until someone comes up with an effective monetisation strategy for web and mobile content that can either match current print advertising revenue, or at the very least break even, the doom and gloom outlook for newspapers will continue.

Sourced from Romenesko:

Print newspaper circulation continues on its steep downward slide
Editor & Publisher
Some ABC FAS-FAX numbers for the six-month period ending March 31, 2008:
* New York Times down 9.2% on Sunday, 3.8% daily
* Washington Post down 4.3% on Sunday, 3.5% daily
* Wall Street Journal up 0.3
* Los Angeles down 6% on Sunday, 5.1% daily
* USA Today up .27% to 2,284,219
* Boston Globe down 6.4% on Sunday, 8.3% daily

> How the top 25 daily newspapers performed in the FAS-FAX report (E&P)
> Louis Hau: Why circulation declines aren’t a wholly reliable barometer of overall performance. (Forbes)