2008 to be the worst year for newspaper advertising? Surprise!

by Jason Preston on June 24, 2008

The New York Times reported yesterday on the continuing downward trend in newspaper advertising:

Over all, ad revenue fell almost 8 percent last year. This year, it is running about 12 percent below that dismal performance, and company reports issued last week suggested a 14 percent to 15 percent decline in May.

To me, and I think to most people, this is anything but surprising.

The Times article blames the slow economy for the lower-than-usual growth in online ad sales:

Online ad revenue for newspapers grew 20 percent to 30 percent annually for most of this decade. Most analysts think the industry will return to that growth rate when the economy picks up again, but for now, it is closer to 15 percent. The Internet still accounts for less than 10 percent of newspaper ad revenue.

This is probably true, but I think newspapers also need to work on killing the CPC model of online advertising, since it is completely unfair to publishers.