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Australian news media sees 11% fall in ad revenues

Advertising revenues across both print and digital for the news media industry slipped by 10.9% in the last financial year, figures released by industry body NewsMediaWorks today reveal.

Ad revenue across news media titles dropped to $2.1bn in print and digital, down from $2.33bn in the previous year.

Print revenue dropped from $1.82bn to $1.56bn, a drop of 14.5% on the previous financial year. Revenue for newspaper inserted magazines was down 10.1% from $80m to $72m.

Meanwhile, digital ad revenue rose 7.5%, from $430m to $463m.

Last week, data from Standard Media Index covering advertising bought by media agencies suggested that newspapers had gone backwards by 18.4%.

The new figures give a better picture of the challenges currently facing newspapers because they take in direct advertising data supplied by publishers too. Only about a third of newspaper ad revenues come via media agencies.

The slowdown in direct advertising was slightly less severe than that via agency spending, with a fall of about 13% in direct spend.

The NewsMediaWorks figures are audited by Standard Media Index and cover News Corp, Fairfax Media and West Australian newspapers.

The News Media Index numbers do not include digital and print subscription revenues.

Source: NewsMediaWorks

The numbers represent a backwards step on the figures released by NewsMediaWorks six months ago for the 2016 calendar year. At that point, total news media ad revenues had fallen by 7.5%, while total digital revenues had grown by 9.9%.

NewsMediaWorks’ newly appointed CEO Peter Miller argued that news media deserves a bigger slice of digital advertising than it is currently receiving.

Miller: Time to push the reset button

“We need to push the reset button on perceptions of news media and ask advertisers and their advisors take a fresh and objective look at the sector,” he said.

“News media continues to deliver large, highly engaged audiences who trust their preferred news source. Digital readership continues to grow and in a number of cases print readership has also bucked the trend.”

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