Figures released by the Newspaper Association of America show that the decline of newspapers is more rapid than previously thought, with total print advertising revenue in 2007 plunging 9.4% to $42 billion compared to 2006, the biggest drop in revenue since 1950, the year they started tracking annual revenue.
Online provides some solace for the dead-tree business, with internet ad revenue growing 18.8% to $3.2 billion compared to 2006, but a rate significantly lower than the 31.4% growth the year before, and not even close to replacing the losses from print. Online revenue now represents 7.5% of total newspaper ad revenues.
Newspapers do have a future, but as I wrote in November, we are yet to see a major consolidation of print in the United States. Declining revenues will ultimately force consolidation across print media in the United States, and many of those that fail to embrace change will be on borrowed time.