Newspaper advertising in steady decline as brands exit print media

By Ibidunni Banjoko

Gone are the days when newspapers stood as sources of information where all brands leveraged to advertise their brands and products. Marketers often chose to use different types of print advertisements in their campaigns to help them reach a wide audience.

Newspapers used to be a suitable medium for goods requiring mass advertisement. They reached every nook and cranny of the public at lower costs than any other medium. Their high coverage and frequency enabled speedy preparation and publication of advertisements.

However, a MARKETING EDGE recent search revealed that advertisements in the newspapers are very low, and that the few print advertisers are brands in the banking sector. For the month of April 2023, Punch had 15 banking ads, ThisDay had 40 banking ads, The Nation had 8 banking ads, Vanguard had 3 banking ads, and The Sun had 1 banking ads.

Back in the day globally, total newspaper ad revenue grew from $15.5 billion in 1980 to a peak of $49.4 billion in 2005. It, however, collapsed to $25.8 billion by 2010.

Recently, it was calculated that newspaper advertising spending worldwide would reach around 28.3 billion USD in 2022. The average ad spending per reader in the newspaper advertising segment is projected to amount to US$27.13 in 2023. According to other industry forecasts, this figure has been declining since 2007, and is projected to drop further to 26.6 billion dollars by 2024.

Meanwhile, ad revenue growth is continuing for digital media and more recently for retail media as a marketing vehicle. WARC’s recent estimate forecasts the worldwide ad marketplace to reach $993 billion this year and should surpass $1 trillion in revenue next year.

With the steady growth of digital mediums, the advertising game for brands has become even more competitive. The digital medium has siphoned ad revenue away from print. For instance, Amazon recorded $ 37.7 billion in ad revenue last year, compared to what print is forecasting to generate this year. When compared to 2022, Amazon’s ad revenue is expected to grow by 20.8% this year.

Google and Meta are projected to garner nearly $400 billion in ad revenue this year, accounting for about 40% share of the worldwide total. Also, this year, ad revenue for traditional video, audio, and Out-Of-Home ads will increase by only 1.6% when compared to 2016. It is expected that one arm of digital media will exceed all of print in the near future.

In this contest, newspapers need to get better at shouting about their effectiveness to the advertisers.


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