If the numbers are still in newspapers, why are advertisers all pulling out? This piece from Roy Greenslade in The Guardian takes a stark look at the newspaper landscape, how many of the big British papers are in floundering waters. What can they do about it?
In August last year a consortium of Britain’s leading national newspaper publishers launched an advertising campaign to draw attention to the merits of their titles as platforms for advertising. It was an unprecedented initiative.
The very fact that six highly competitive rivals were willing to bury their hatchets showed the depth of the problem. They needed advertisers, and most especially their media agencies who book ads for them, to think again about having turned their backs on newspapers.
But the campaign failed. Newspaper groups are reporting further reductions in ad revenue, with falls in money made from print ads in early 2016 even worse than already gloomy predictions and digital far from taking up the slack. The outlook for summer looks anything but sunny.
Why should this be? Newspapers may be losing readers for their print versions, but they attract huge online audiences. The figures are a matter of record. And more than seven million people still buy a newsprint paper in the UK each day while a further two million pick one up free.
Looking across both digital and print platforms, some 46 million people read a news brand each month. That is a mighty slice of the country’s overall population. As Rufus Olins, chief executive of Newsworks, the marketing body for national papers, points out, that is “even more than the number of people who use Google in the UK”.