Newspapers thrived into the mid-20th century but with the advent of radio and then television, newspaper circulation began a slow but steady decline.
That decline has only been hastened by the advent of the internet, and the early years of the 21st century have seen the newspaper industry enter a kind of death spiral, with layoffs, bankruptcies and even the total shutdown of some publications being seen nationwide.
Okay, so the old joke doesn’t really translate in writing.
It’s not news that newspaper circulation and reach have been declining over the years. And forecasts for the coming year aren’t all that sunny.
Circulation declines did not start with the advent of the Internet as most people assume. According to Tony Rogers,
I know you’ve seen the reports.
However, while circulation is surely down, newspapers are still a great medium to reach an upscale audience. Data from Scarborough shows that for Sunday and average issue readers, more educated and higher income readers index high, with the the most educated and highest income groups indexing the highest – 136 for households with income $250+ and 129 for education level of some post graduate work+.
Newspapers continue to be creative with advertising options; many offline opportunities are sold in concert with online newspaper products to increase reach/penetration and to reinforce messaging via different outlets. And since online newspaper reaches a broader demographic group, this bundling can enhance your buy. Newspapers as an advertising medium’s future may be a bit brighter with the advent of tablets/ereaders via apps which are attracting more younger/upscale readers.
And while it’s true that print newspaper advertising has a relatively high CPM as compared to other local media, crossing platforms and including online components can generally lower your CPM considerably. Both can be planned and purchased with some precision. In most markets, advertising can be can be purchased on a geo basis (zip code level and sometimes smaller) with print inserts and online ads.
The impact of page dominant ads can really contribute to brand awareness and brand equity. But it’s not all about branding, as newspaper is also great medium for advertising as data indicates that up to 60-65% of all people who purchase/subscribe to the paper do so for the ads.That’s a pretty receptive audience. And the recent How America Shops & Spends report illustrates how readers are greatly influenced by newspaper advertising with over 50-65% surveyed attributing planned shopping to newspaper ads across a wide variety of categories.
So don’t discount newspapers as an advertising option. Depending on your goals, it might make sense in your media mix.