Why Print Advertising Revenues are Declining

The cyclical nature of any business tends to set off alarms when that cycle trends downward, and that is exactly what is happening in the print advertising industry lately. While the latest numbers for print advertising companies are mostly negative, there are trends happening in digital advertising that print publishers may want to take note of.

The Drop Is Significant

According to Statista.com, the overall print advertising industry experienced a drop in revenues from 2014 to the first quarter of 2015 by six percent. TheWrap.com has print publishing powerhouse Time Magazine experiencing a loss of 12 percent in print advertising revenue, which is double the industry average.

Statista.com went on to project that the print advertising revenues for the entire industry will fall again in 2016, but the drop will not be as dramatic as what occurred in the past 12 months. Still, these downward trends in print advertising revenue are raising concerns across the industry and they are shining spotlights on digital advertising.

Digital Advertising Is On The Rise

In the same span from 2014 to the first quarter of 2015, digital advertising revenue has jumped an amazing 20 percent. Statista.com indicates that the digital advertising revenue upward trend will gain momentum and jump by another 20 percent between 2015 and 2016.

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One of the more telling comparisons is when you see just how much the gap between print advertising and digital advertising revenue is expected to close by 2016. While print advertising revenue will drop to approximately $12 billion for the year, digital advertising will jump to nearly $6 billion. That gap gets smaller and smaller every year and is something that print advertising experts are watching.

A Cycle Or A Trend?

According to StateOfTheMedia.org, print advertising revenues jumped from 2003 to 2004 from around $44 billion to almost $47 billion. The print advertising industry even stabilized for three years before losing ground again. While some may point to these numbers and say that the recent losses in print advertising revenue are cyclical and not a trend, the fact that print advertising revenues have not been anywhere near $30 billion since 2009 says that this is a trend that is not favoring the print advertising professionals.

Print publishers that want to stay relevant should take a look at these numbers and realize the same trend that digital publishers have already been seeing for years. If a print publication wants to increase revenue, then it will need to start finding a digital companion it can use to reach a broader audience.

When digital publishing first started, it was used as a luxury enhancement to the much more powerful print medium. But as time goes by and the Internet continues to evolve, those publishers that ignore the advertising revenue trends that are being played out are the ones who may be looking at financial problems at some point very, very soon.


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