Web Advertising Overtakes Newspapers in the US

5 Jan 2011 by Randall Helms, 1 Comment »


Image taken using Hipstamatic for iPhone

Via Advertising Age, a sign of the times:

The internet (including mobile) passed newspapers in 2010 U.S. ad revenue, making the internet the second-largest ad medium behind TV, according to Interpublic Group of Companies’ MagnaGlobal.

Given both the rapid decline of the newspaper industry in America and the strong growth of the internet advertising sector, this is not exactly shocking news, but even so it is still an important milestone.

It’s a bit of a weird moment precisely because it has been so long that people have been predicting that online would overtake print as an advertising channel.

For those who are curious, it’s well worth signing up to MagnaGlobal’s site so that you can download the December 2010 Global Advertising Forecast, which is stuffed full of interesting numbers and analysis, such as the following on the state of the global print advertising market:


Arguably, in many countries, newspapers now uniquely support advertisers who believe the medium drives retail traffic (although declining circulation trends make it harder to accomplish those goals) … Newspapers will generally fare better in emerging markets where literacy levels are rising and internet connections are poor. Certainly India and Indonesia will be among the primary beneficiaries of this factor. Magazines will struggle to stay positive globally, essentiallystayingflatevery year going forward. Over the next five years, magazine advertising will decline in each of the world’s 10 largest markets for magazines, with the exception of Brazil and Russia.

Loss of readership – sometimes real and sometimes perceived – is a driving factor behind these trends. That digital or online media will replace print media in wholesale fashion in a short period of time is on one hand overstated, but on the other, becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. The introduction of Apple’s iPad during 2010 highlighted the potential for replacement of print editions with digital ones, and encourages advertisers to explore sponsoring content designed for these devices, potentially using budgets allocated towards onlinemedia. However, it seems unlikely that more than a minority of thepopulation will possess tablets over the next few years, and the propensity to eliminate printt subscriptions in favor of digital downloads remains to be seen. Advertisers will alter their media plans either way.

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