Newspaper Publishing Industry Outlook 2014-18

Globally, the newspaper industry’s revenue decline will finally end in 2015… Global total newspaper revenue, after a period of decline, will start to climb again in 2015 as the growth in developing countries’ newspaper revenue begins to exceed the decline in mature markets. Growth will stabilise at 0.1% CAGR through to 2018.

…But the future of newspapers will vary significantly by region. While the Asia Pacific market is set to grow at a CAGR of 3.4% through to 2018 based on increased consumer and advertiser demand, especially in China (8.3% CAGR) and India (7.5% CAGR), North America is forecast to fall at a CAGR of -4.2% as the migration of advertising and readers to digital continues.

Circulation revenue will almost match advertising revenue by 2018. In 2013, while circulation revenue rose globally after years of decline, advertising revenue continued to fall. Circulation’s share of total revenue will rise from 47% in 2013 to 49% by 2018, meaning consumers may soon become publishers’ biggest source of revenue.

Digital payments are taking off, but won’t prove transformational. Digital newspaper circulation revenue grew by 66.2% through 2013. But despite individual publishers reporting improved fortunes, few are hailing a transformation – digital circulation will make up just 8% of total circulation revenue globally by 2018.

Growth in digital advertising revenue is slowing down. In 2013, publishers’ annual digital advertising revenue growth reduced to 11.7% – a far cry from the 17.7% growth of 2012. Publishers must work harder to realise new digital revenue returns, embracing new advertising technologies, promoting better usage measurement, and exploring controversial content marketing and payment schemes.

‘Digital-first’ is becoming the norm for newspaper publishers. For many years, news publishers’ digital output was led by their print products. But increasingly, titles will be reorganised as ‘digital-first’ operations, publishing content that works best on connected devices.