Print ads shrink, online ads climb -- That story stays

Newspaper Ad Spending Keeps On Falling—But More Slowly
By Joseph Tartakoff/paidcontent
Some relatively good news for the newspaper industry; total newspaper print and online ad spending dropped 5.55 percent last quarter, the smallest percentage drop
since the first quarter of 2007, according to the latest figures put out by the Newspaper Association of America. A 7.6 percent decrease in print ad spending was offset somewhat by a 13.9 percent increase in online spending, the biggest increase that category has seen since the recession began.

The Newspaper Association of America is, of course, taking a positive spin on the numbers, saying, "despite a highly competitive environment, online advertising growth rebounded back into double digits, while declines in traditional revenue categories continue to moderate as the general advertising recovery progresses. The fact that online now represents nearly 12 percent of overall newspaper advertising revenues bodes well for our medium's future in an increasingly digital environment."
The last several years have been horrific for the newspaper industry, and it's easy to get very gloomy when you start looking at the whole numbers, instead of only the most recent year-over-year percentage changes. Total online and print ad spending was $6.43 billion during the quarter. Only four years ago, during the second quarter of 2006, the total was nearly double that. As for online ad spending, it is now once again close to levels it had reached several years ago. Online ad spending totaled $743.88 million during the quarter, compared to $795.68 million during the second quarter of 2007.

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