Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

February 25, 2014

Not Comics: Report On Newspaper Advertising And Circulation

The comics market is really only an ancillary market for the wider newspaper business, so you kind of have to squint your eyes a bit and purposefully keep them in mind as you look at figures and analysis as to the state of newspaper circulation and advertising. I think it's also useful to see newspaper less as an ailing market than as a disrupted one: if you were to give someone the money for a newspaper based on what a major market is yielding I think they could do so and what would result would look very different than the institutions that exist -- which aren't going from nothing to meet a need, but are shrinking from a time of yearly gains in revenues and dominance of the display advertising market to something far less so.

If you think of newspaper as being totally driven by where advertising is, and there are tons of resons you might, what that report seems to be saying is that there's a deep divide between digital and print-only readerships, the gains are digital, and the revenues seem to be pooling around limited-exposure models, like Sunday-only advertising. It doesn't take a genius to see that a lot of major markets may flirt with Sunday print, weekday-digital models all the way through, which for comics would be interesting because Sundays are literally half their market (they count as a sale the same way that placing six dailies counts as a sale) but dailies seem to have a bit more traction on digital. It's all guess work right now, but that might be where I'd take a paper if I had one.
posted 1:55 am PST | Permalink

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