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Media Study Shows Print Faltering in U.S.

March 19, 2013

According to a new study released by the Pew Research Center regarding news consumption trends, newsstand sales declined 16 percent for all major news magazines in the U.S. during 2012, with magazines overall declining 8.2 percent. While newspaper subscription revenues were steady, a major decline in print ad revenue continues.

Among the hardest hit were The Economist, which declined 17 percent and The Week, which declined 18 percent. Newsweek, which stopped publishing a print edition at the end of last year, dropped five percent. Print subscriptions were relatively stable, a fact which the study attributes to discounts and special offers. Of six magazines studied, ad pages declined 10 percent in 2012.

For newspapers, daily circulation fell 0.2 percent, a number that is buoyed by new digital pay plans implemented by 450 newspapers in the U.S. Advertising revenue numbers provided by the Newspaper Association of America indicates the industry has fallen below US$20 billion. For every $16 in print ad revenue lost, only $1 in digital ad revenue was recouped, a worsening trend from the $10 to $1 ratio witnessed in 2011. Newspaper ad revenues now sit at 60 percent of what they were a decade ago.

On the whole, magazine revenues declined 10.4 percent and newspapers declined 5.9 percent year over year, with Digital (online) and Local TV gaining 16.6 and 10.1 percent respectively.

Read the key findings of the media study here.

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