The newspaper industry is likely to be the next one calling for a bailout… if these projections are accurate.
Should this forecast prove to be correct, sales would tumble by 16.5% to $37.9 billion from last year’ s depressed level and the industry will have lost a staggering 23.4% of its revenues since producing a record $49.4 billion in sales in 2005.
More interestingly, the online newspaper sector has been growing significantly over the last couple of years and online news sites have done all the right things with regard to adding video/audio content, expanding features sites, syndicating third party content and services, and courting interaction with the audience. We can quibble that they aren’t doing enough of the above, but the fact remains that online audience has consistently grown and key metrics, like time spent, have improved.
The elephant in the room is the ad networks and declining value to newspapers as their core audience grows and online inventory expands. I argued as much in this post, suggesting that at it’s core the newspaper business (and associated advertising sales operation) is inherently local while ad networks are generalized.