Revenues from global newspaper circulation exceeded advertising revenues last year for the first time this century according to the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) in its latest annual World Press Trends survey.
Of the estimated US $179 billion in circulation and advertising revenue generated last year, $92 billion derived from print and digital circulation compared with $87 billion for advertising.
However there was considerable differences between the different regions. In Europe, for example, print circulation decreased by 4.5% year-on-year, and by 21.3% over the past five years. Print ad revenues, meanwhile, declined by 5% year-on-year, and by 23.1% over five years.
In North America print circulation was down by 1.3% year-on-year, and by 8.8% over five years while print ad revenues were down by 7.5% year-over-year, and 28.2% over the same period.
Meanwhile in the Asia-Pacific region print circulation was up by 9.8% year-on-year in Asia, and by 32.7% over five years, largely on the back of large increases in India. Print circulation declined by 5.3% year-on-year in Australia and Oceania, and by 22.3% over 5 years.
Print ad revenues, however, were down 6.5% year-on-year in Asia-Pacific region and by 7.3% over five years. In Latin America, print circulation was up 0.6% year-on-year and by 3% over the past five years. Likewise print revenues were up by 4.9% year-on-year and 27.7% over a five year period.
Finally, the Middle East and Africa region reported print circulation increases of 1.2% year-on-year and 3.7% over five years while print ad revenues grew by 2.2% year-over-year, but declined by 22.1% over five years.
The report also found that globally, some 93% of newspaper revenues are derived from print. While newspapers’ digital ad revenues aren’t expected to overtake print ad revenues for quite some time, they grew by 8.5% in 2015 and by nearly 60% over 5 years.
Paid digital circulation also increased by 56% year-on-year and by more than 1,420% over the past five years. Roughly 2.7 billion people globally read print newspapers, and more than 770 million read them on desktop digital platforms, the report noted.