Media future

Today's scary newspaper statistic

Derek Thompson, the business editor at The Atlantic, gleaned this from today's Pew report on the State of the News Media. In 2012, newspapers lost $16 in print ads for every $1 earned in digital ads. And it's getting worse not better, the report says. Thompson:

Since 2003, print ads have fallen from $45 billion to $19 billion. Online ads have only grown from $1.2 to $3.3 billion. Stop and think about that gap. The total ten-year increase in digital advertising isn't even enough to overcome the average single-year decline in print ads since 2003. Ugh.

Who killed newspapers? The classic response is the classifieds, and it's true that websites offering direct information about housing, rentals, cars, and other goods and services that once found a unique home in newspapers have gutted the old revenue model....[But] the majority of print's ad decline since 2003 has come from retail ads (the most common slice of most newspapers' revenue pie) and national ads.

As ad revenue declines, so does staffing: "Newsroom employment fell below 40,000 full-time workers for the first time since 1978 -- and 30 percent below its peak in 2000," Thompson writes.

By the way: The Washington Post today announced it will adopt the metered paywall model for its website. Twenty articles for free a month.

Also from Pew: LA Weekly is now the top circulation alternative weekly in the country, due to readership dropping at the Village Voice. Poynter

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