NAA: Newspaper Ad Spend Hits New Lows

Newspapers ended 2010 with the lowest amount of ad spending directed toward them since 1986, according to the latest figures from the Newspaper Association of America. On the plus side, online is looking better, rising 10.9 percent last year, reversing 2009’s 11 percent decline.

Combined online and print ad spending on newspapers were $22.7 billion in 2010, while print fell 6.3 percent. In Q410, newspaper ad dollars fell 5 percent from the same period the year before, while online jumped 14 percent.

Online ad dollars comprised roughly 12 percent of total newspaper revenues as of last year. While that share is growing as print’s slice of the pie recedes, web dollars aren’t growing fast enough to offset the losses on the traditional side. Until it does, the only answer newspaper publishers will continue to have is more cost-cutting unless higher subscription rates and more use of integrated marketing can ease the overall declines.