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

December 5, 2012

Not Comics: That Newspaper Advertising Revenue Chart

Go here if you want to see a sobering chart about newspaper advertising revenue that my newspaper-interested friends in and out of comics are passing around. The two keys are that advertising revenues are falling dramatically, and that they're falling ahead of any gains in revenue made by google. The latter is important because google is a frequent scapegoat for what's been going on in the print newspaper industry, and this chart indicates that newspapers have problems of their own. I'm not sure what to add except that I'd like to know where the advertising money is going in a kind of fundamental way. It could be that the money from businesses to advertise simply isn't there because businesses are hurting that much. My suspicion is that more money is being taken out of a lot of companies that used to be kept in them in sort of a basic, bottom-line way, but I totally lack the skill-set to get there in a way that an adult could make that case at a dinner party.

You could continue to see a lot of newspapers altering the way they do business over the next half-decade if revenues stay miserable. If there's no solution apparent or even possible to the advertising revenue quandary -- no matter what that solution might be, even a drastic one -- I think that becomes an issue in and of itself. The impact on syndicated comics from years of industry jenga could be tremendous at some point, even though for now things are still holding together, kind of like a big, strong man weakened by flu but still operational. For now.
posted 5:00 pm PST | Permalink

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