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The U.S. newspaper industry has history going all the way back to the colonies.  Newspapers enjoyed a long reign not only as the primary source of news and information, but also as the main advertising vehicle for brands, retailers, and even individuals within their markets.
Newspaper publishers faced and survived major challenges over the years from short broadcast newscasts on radio and TV, radio all-news formats, television news programs, and 24-hour cable news channel cycles, retaining subscribers and revenue streams.
In the 21st century, however, online and digital platforms affording real-time news coverage – including personalized news delivery – have made immediacy the order of the day.  Publishers literally are faced with an “adapt or die” proposition.  Some are adapting innovative strategies to expand their digital services to the consumer – others have closed down.
Newspaper Counts and Circulation The estimated total U.S. daily and Sunday newspaper circulation is steadily decreasing over the years. 2015 Weekday: 37,711,860 Sunday: 40,955,458 2016 Weekday: 34,657,199 Sunday: 37,801,888 2017 Weekday: 30,948,419 Sunday: 33,971,695 Sunday remains in the lead for the highest circulation day among U.S. newspapers.
While circulation of physical copies are down, digital circulation is growing. The average monthly unique visitors of the 50 top U.S. newspaper are as follows: 2015: 9,709,071 2016: 11,734,536 2017: 11,527,744
The average minutes per website visit of the top 50 U.S. newspapers are: 2015: 2.59 2016: 2.45     2017: 2.44
Average per-paper circulation of the top 20 U.S. alt-weeklies by circulation       2015: 65,936 2016: 61,654 2017: 55,347
Media age shows newspaper platforms well-distributed: The median age of a newspaper reader is 54 The median age of a person visiting a newspaper website is 41 The median age of a person viewing a newspaper on their mobile is 39
Newspaper Inserts Newspaper inserts are said to influence shopping and drive newspaper consumption habits. 38% of Americans look for coupons in newspapers 55% of Americans have purchased a single issue to access offers 56% of Americans somewhat or strongly agree with, “I use the ads inserted in a newspaper to learn about new products.” 68% of Americans would remove an insert they were planning to use and physically bring it to a store. 75% of Americans take advantage of newspaper coupons at least one a month.
Holiday Insert Numbers 44% purchased something for the 2017 holiday they did not otherwise anticipate on purchasing due to an insert 49% were relying on inserts/ads to help them stick to a specific budget while shopping for the holidays 52% anticipated using inserts for their holiday shopping 58% saved an estimated 11% by using inserts 66% strongly or somewhat agree with the statement “I check coupons/ads in a newspaper when I am shopping for a special event.”
Publishing Fewer newspapers were published in 2017 than 12 years ago, and circulation has declined dramatically: Daily Newspapers (published 4 or more days per week) There were 1,286 daily papers and 866 Sunday papers as of January 1, 2017; There were 1,457 daily papers and 915 Sunday papers in February ‘05 Combined circulation of all dailies in 2017 is 33.4M; Sunday, 37.8M; Combined circulation of all dailies in ‘05 was 54.6M; Sunday, 55.2M Weekly Newspapers (published 1-3 days per week) There were 8,458 weekly papers as of 1/1/17 (7,285 publish once a week) There were 6,659 weekly papers in February ’05  (6,086 published once a week) Combined circulation of all weeklies in 2017 is 126.0M Combined circulation of all weeklies in 2005 was 49.5M Shoppers/Total Market Coverage (TMC) (Publications with less than 25% editorial content) There were 1,245 shopper/TMC publications as of January 1, 2017 There were 1,417 shopper/TMC publications in February ‘05 Total circulation of all shoppers/TMC publications in 2017 is 42.30M Total circulation of all shoppers/TMC publications in 2005 was 56.8M
Print Newspaper subscribers are twice as likely to say their primary reason for buying a newspaper is to get coupons and deals, stay informed about sports and weather and stay informed about international news.
Newspaper publishers are changing their business models to curtail costs, expand access to content via digital platforms: Reduction of home delivery schedules to 3 or 4 days a week, including Sunday Some publications adopting these schedules continue to offer print editions at newsstands and other points Others offer digital-only options on non-delivery days
Recognized channels for audited newspaper circulation data by the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM), formerly known as the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), are: Print distribution (individually paid, business/traveler distribution such as hotels and airlines, and consumer copies that are non-paid or paid by someone other than the individual) Digital Replica:  Digital format containing all editorial and ROP ad content; may contain additional editorial and advertising.  Circulation numbers not synonymous with daily Website visitors, page views, or other common web traffic terms Digital Non-Replica:  Digital format with same name of paper’s AAM membership; may contain different editorial or advertising from the print version.  Circulation numbers not synonymous with daily Website visitors, page views, or other common web traffic terms. Affiliated Publications: Print and/or digital editions reflecting a different name than AAM member; may contain audience-focused, alternative language or community papers.
Readership Print readership varies by age demographic, with older adults more likely to consume print than younger Americans. Daily Sunday Adults 18-24 5.1% 5.9% Adults 25-34 9.1% 10.5% Adults 35-45 11.0% 12.0% Adults 45-54 16.4% 17.4 Adults 55-64 22.4% 21.9% Adults 65+ 36.1% 32.2%
92% of U.S. adults read any daily newspaper print addition. 12% of U.S. adults read any daily newspaper e-edition.
Research shows that 89% of the time audiences spend with national newspapers is still in print, with just 7% via mobile devices and 4% via PCs according to a February, 2017 article on Phys.org. 81% of monthly newspaper readers engage with the print product, with 51% reading print exclusively. Adults 21-34 make up 25% of the U.S. population and represent 24% of the total monthly newspaper readership.
Newspaper audiences have traditionally been more educated, affluent and older than non-newspaper readers but digital media has attracted younger readers. 20% of the U.S. population is 55+ - this age group now accounts for 55% of the total daily print or e-edition newspaper audience. 21-34 year-olds make up 25% of the U.S. population and represent 15% of daily print or e-edition newspaper readership. Print or digital readers are more likely to be college graduates and have annual household incomes over $100,000.
Many print newspaper advertisers like to “target” consumers by placing their ads in special sections of the paper. However, among those adults who read print newspapers, only a small percentage of actually read every section – many readers will never be exposed to advertising. Weekday papers Front page, 26% International/National News, 14% Business/Finance, 8% Comics, 10% Editorial Page, 10% Entertainment/Lifestyle, 10% Fashion, 4%; Food/Cooking, 11% Health, 10% Home/Home Design/Furnishings/Gardening, 6% Movie Listings & Reviews, 7% Science & Technology, 6% Sports, 13%; Travel, 6% TV Listings, 6% Weather, 15% Advertisements, 7% Circulars/Inserts/Fliers, 10% Classified Advertising, 8%. Sunday/Weekend papers Front page, 25% International/National News, 14% Local News, 22% Business/Finance, 8% Comics, 12% Editorial page, 9% Entertainment/Lifestyle, 12% Fashion, 5% Food/Cooking, 10% Health, 9% Home/Home Design/Furnishings/Gardening, 7% Movie Listings & Reviews, 7% Science & Technology, 7% Sports, 13% Travel, 7% TV Listings, 6% Weather, 12% Advertisements, 9% Circulars/Inserts/Fliers, 14% Classified Advertising, 8%
On the positive side for print newspaper advertisers, consumers are mainly receptive to ads in this medium. 75% of readers trust an ad in a national print newspaper "some" or "a lot" 79% of trust an ad in a local paper "some" or "a lot" 58% of national newspaper readers say they are "somewhat" or "very" likely to purchased after seeing an ad.Becoming aware of a sale (61%) 66% of local newspaper readers sat they are "somewhat" or "very" likely to purchase after seeing an ad
Based on a survey of 8000+ consumers: Only 3% stated that newspaper is the most trusted source Only 4% see newspaper as the most accurate source Only 3% turn to newspapers as a source when making a purchase
According to a Statista survey, 7% of P16+ stated that print newspaper ads are very annoying and 11% kind of annoying
Revenue Digital advertising in the newspaper market is simply not growing quickly enough (2016-2021 CAGR of 2.2%) to offset print advertising losses (CAGR of -12.6%). Forecast to account for 29.8% of newspaper ad revenues this year, digital is expected to grow to 44.6% share of revenues in 2021. Meanwhile, each of the three major segments of print advertising (classified, national and retail) is predicted to drop by an annual rate in the double digits, with classified having the worst outlook (of -13.3%).
Freedonia Group’s "Newspaper Publishing: United States," concludes that newspaper recenue will decline 2.6% annually through 2022. The overall rate of decline between 2018 and 2022 shows sings of improvement with annual losses lessening from the preceding decade.
The digital newspaper industry revenue forecast is estimated to grow by 9.8% annually from 2015 to 2020 whereas non-digital revenue is estimated to decline 3% annually during the same timeframe.
The total estimated newspaper industry advertising revenue for 2017 was $16.5 billion, which is a 10% decrease from 2016. Percentage of newspaper advertising coming from digital advertising is increasing year over year: 2015: 25% 2016: 29% 2017: 31%
For additional information/insights on Newspapers: Newspaper Association of America (NAA): http://www.naa.org/ National Newspaper Association (NNA): http://nnaweb.org/resources http://nnaweb.org/about-nna?articleCategory=community-facts-figures Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) http://www.auditedmedia.com/

Reach: Mass reach, delivered daily: Newspapers reach a relatively large mass audience throughout the market in a single issue. One advertisement in the newspaper typically can create more impressions than a single commercial spot on television or radio, a single outdoor billboard, or online platform. Beyond initial circulation, newspapers can deliver meaningful pass-along audiences and their reach over a week or month is significantly higher than their daily tallies indicate.
Targeting: Geographic targeting is available through combinations of major market and small town/suburban papers, as well as by zoned editions that allow for less than full run of press coverage.
Newspapers boast strong upscale demographics, delivering a high proportion of educated, affluent consumers.
Editorial selectivity is available using specific sections of the paper to advertise to a target audience – e.g., women’s specialty store in fashion section.
Environment: The majority of newspapers retain reputations for high civic-mindedness and integrity in reporting.
Cross-Platform Exposure: A mix of print and digital platforms offered by newspapers affords access to differing demographic segments. Newspaper websites are a growing option for advertisers to reach younger, more upscale audiences. The availability of video ads on digital platforms increases appeal.
Tracking: It is relatively easy to track response to newspaper ads, primarily through couponing.
Ad Timing: Advertisers can place orders and submit copy/artwork with a short lead time.
Content: The combination of text and graphics in the newspaper, when used effectively, can create visual appeal to reinforce the advertising message.
Newspaper ads afford the capability to communicate lengthy, complex or detailed information and descriptions, as well as disclaimers legally required for certain forms of advertising.
Comparison Shopping: The newspaper is an effective vehicle for consumers to price shop and also serves as a primary source for coupons. Newspaper readers and non-readers often seek out ads to learn about store promotions, prices, and to clip coupons for savings.
Ad Size: The medium offers a wide range of ad sizes that allow advertisers to meet their budgetary parameters, ranging from a single column-inch ad to two adjacent full-pages (double-truck display).
Classified Advertising: Many consumers consult their newspaper to look for job offerings, real estate and automotive ads, other buying/selling opportunities.
Opportunities: If newspaper publishers can capitalize on them, online companion Websites and mobile apps can provide newspapers with a vehicle for more immediacy, audio and visual delivery of ad messages.

Reach: Large percentages of adults don’t read any newspaper each day, especially among younger demographics. Even among readers, people rarely go through all the sections of the newspaper.
Quality: Despite printing improvement over the years, newspaper ad reproduction isn’t a match for magazines or online displays.
Clutter: Same-page ad clutter is an issue for all but the largest advertisers (those purchasing ½-page of full-page displays). Ads placed next to a competitor’s may only be an advantage if price is absolutely the lowest.
Passivity: Print newspapers provide only visual information. Newspaper ads are non-intrusive, appeal primarily to consumers who are seeking them out.
Timeliness: Newspaper coverage of news events lags behind TV, Cable, radio, Internet. Readers may seek out more in-depth reporting from the paper, but get breaking news from electronic and digital sources today. Social networks such as Twitter, BuzzFeed also afford quick access to stories.
Declining Distribution: Newspaper circulations, especially on weekdays, are in steep decline.
Demographics: Newspapers’ audience skew is 35+, with emphasis on 55+.
Coverage: The metro market reach of the typical major market daily newspaper is only about half of what it was 25-30 years ago.
Digital Ads: Newspaper websites to date have not been able to exploit the availability of video commercials on the digital platforms. There is controversy regarding how consumers “view” digital ads on all platforms that must be resolved.
Measurement: Circulation, not readership, was newspapers’ sales currency for many years. As the medium attempts to shift to readership data, audience surveys currently available rarely provide issue-specific data or readership estimates by page or section of the paper.
Media Buying Limitations: GRP or media weight factoring is a challenge due to wide variations in market-to-market coverage and circulation. In many cities there is only one major newspaper available.

Reach:  Radio offers broad reach across all demographics, including younger consumers not easily delivered by newspaper advertising.  Radio reaches more adults every week than any other medium. Adding a relatively inexpensive radio schedule to a newspaper ad campaign can boost the number of different persons who will be exposed to an advertising message.
Enhancement:  The ear is a powerful organ for messaging, and radio can provide sound that is lacking from print advertisements.  Conversely, newspaper ads can provide deeper messaging and details that short radio spots can’t convey.
Recall:  Radio combines with newspaper to improve brand recall.  Numerous studies point to radio's ability to improve brand awareness and recall as well as improve the effectiveness of other media. Additionally, radio has been proven to improve an advertiser's return on investment.
Environment:  Radio cuts through the clutter, featuring commercials one at a time, whereas newspapers commonly display multiple ads on the same page, diminishing branding opportunities.  Use radio to direct consumers to a particular ad in an edition of the paper for locations, details beyond radio messaging.
Readers can easily skip past newspaper advertisements, but linear radio is intrusive and breaks through with your message.  Arbitron/Media Monitors/Coleman Research’s 2011 “What Happens When the Spots Come On” found that radio retains 93% of its lead-in audience during commercial breaks.  Frequency:  Radio advertising is affordable and allows you to add impact to your brand messaging through repetition. 
You can air multiple radio spots in a single day versus one newspaper ad.  That means bigger and faster results because repetition sells.  Radio can help maintain loyal customers by keeping your name or brand image top-of-mind.  When the consumer knows your name, she’s more likely to stop and read you newspaper advertisement.
Targetability:  Radio is highly-targetable.  While everyone in the market reads the same print newspaper, there are many radio formats, each attracting a distinct demographic or lifestyle group that allows you to zero in on a specific audience – and making a radio buy more efficient than newspaper.
Cost:  Newspaper advertising can be expensive, depending on the size of the ad and where it is placed in the publication, and one ad hits all who read the paper.  Good radio advertising is relatively inexpensive to produce and can be tailored to different demographic groups and placed within niche program formats.
Speed:  The time to create a radio spot, produce it and get it on the air is shorter than the time required to publish an ad in the print edition of the paper.  Radio can be the advance team for messaging that needs to get out quickly. Recall:  A Radio Ad Lab study on radio/TV synergy confirmed that adding radio to a TV ad schedule can boost brand recall.  Swapping out one of two television ads for two radio ads increased unaided brand recall by 34%.  Consumers who heard two radio ads and only one TV ad could restate a campaign’s main message equally as well as those exposed to two TV ads. 
For more information on radio: Glossary:  http://www.rab.com/public/reports/buysellterms.pdf FAQs:  http://www.rab.com/whyradio/faq.cfm Statistics and Trends:  http://www.rab.com/whyradio/


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