Print advertising expected to decline 10.2% annually until 2025, PwC finds

Print advertising is expected to drop 10.2% annually until 2025, according to PwC’s latest Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook.

PwC’s report cited that the decline of overall printed circulation and advertising revenue during 2020 occurred as digitisation plans were accelerated by major publishers. 

Print advertising is expected to decline by 10.2% annually until 2025, finds PwC

PwC’s report revealed that with printed circulation revenue dropping 6.7% in 2020 to $735 million, and print advertising revenue dropping more markedly by 24% to $882 million, all major publishers leaned into rapid transformation and a shift to a digital future.

“While digital advertising revenues felt the sector-wide impact of the pandemic with a drop of 5.5% to $463 million, digital subscriptions increased 23.5% to $375 million in 2020. The University of Canberra’s Digital News Report 2021 states that currently 13% of Australian’s pay for online news, below the global average of 17%,” the report stated. 

Source: PwC

This means there should still be room for growth in this area according to PwC’s research findings, provided the positioning, value proposition and immediate needs of potential digital subscribers can be met.

The report suggested the pursuit of a bigger share of total marketing budgets saw news media businesses increase the number of direct relationships with advertisers to offer cross-platform opportunities that extended beyond strictly ‘news’ and into other forms of entertainment and customer engagement within their portfolios. 

Based on these trends, PwC stated that over the forecast period to 2025, “print advertising revenue is expected to decline at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of negative 10% to $609 million, while print circulation revenue is forecast to decline at a CAGR of negative 5.1% to $577 million”.

Source: PwC

“Digital news display advertising revenue will grow at a CAGR of 3.8% to $611 million, and digital subscriptions will also grow, reaching $580 million, an increase of 11.4% CAGR, based on a mid-point scenario.”

The trend towards the integration of print and digital for news media accelerated in 2020 with Enhanced Media Metrics Australia (Emma) moving to a ‘Total Audience’ reporting system delivering print figures alongside digital for each masthead.

“The 2020 Emma audience figures showed that readership of digital news grew by 8.% in 2020 and cross-platform readership by 2.3%,” PwC wrote.

Source: PwC


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