Upbeat report shows newspapers growing worldwide

Newspaper circulations worldwide rose 2.57 percent in 2007, according to the World Association of Newspapers.

In research timed to coincide with World Newspaper Congress in Gothenburg, WAN said newspaper sales were up 9.39 per cent over the past five years and that readership was being further boosted by growth in free newspapers and online platforms.

When distribution of free dailies is added to mix, WAN said global circulation was up 3.65 per cent last year and 14.3 per cent in the last five years.

WAN said that print remained the world’s largest advertising medium, taking 40 per cent of the market, and that advertising revenue at paid-for daily newspapers was up 0.86 per cent year on year.

The chief executive of the World Association of Newspapers, Timothy Balding, said: “Newspaper circulation has been rising or stable in three quarters of the world’s countries over the past five years and in nearly 80 per cent of countries in the past year.

“And even in places where paid-for circulation is declining, notably the United States and some countries in western Europe, newspapers continue to extend their reach through a wide variety of free and niche publications and through their rapidly developing multimedia platforms.”

The data, from WAN’s annual survey of world press trends in 2007, also showed:

  • Global sales rose to a new high of more than 532 million daily. Total daily circulation of 573 million including frees.
  • Average worldwide newspaper readership is estimated to be more than 1.7 billion people each day.
  • 74 of the world’s 100 best-selling dailies are published in Asia. China, Japan and India account for 62 of them.
  • The five largest markets for newspapers are: China, with 107 million; India, 99 million; Japan, 68 million; the United States, 51 million and Germany, 20.6 million.
  • Newspaper sales were down 1.87 per cent in Europe, down 2.14 percent in North America and down 4.28 per cent in Australia and Oceania.
  • The number of paid-for newspaper titles increased everywhere but North America, where it was down 0.56 per cent. The number of newspaper titles grew by 0.48 per cent in Europe.
  • In the European Union, paid daily newspapers saw a 2.37 per cent drop in 2007. For the UK the drop was 3.46 per cent.
  • The Japanese remain the world’s greatest newspaper buyers, with 624 daily sales per thousand adults. They are followed by Norway with 580 sales per thousand, Finland with 503 and Sweden and Singapore with 449.
  • The Turks spend the most time with their newspapers – 74 minutes a day – followed by the Belgians with 54, and the Finns and Chinese, with 48 minutes each, on average.
  • Newspapers’ share of the world ad market in 2007 fell slightly to 27.5 per cent from 28.7 perc ent a year in 2006. Newspapers remain the world’s second largest advertising medium, after television, with more revenue that radio, cinema, outdoor, and the internet combined. When newspapers and magazines are combined, print is the world’s largest advertising medium, with a 40 per cent share.
  • All internet advertising was up 32.45 per cent over one year and 200 per cent over five years.
  • Newspaper online revenues are forecast to more than double in the next five years and will account for 12 per cent of total newspaper revenues.
  • Data from the US showed newspaper audiences grew eight per cent through a combination of print and online in 2007.

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