It’s a sign of the times: Britain’s famous national newspapers are about to fall even further behind their major competitors for advertiser spending in TV and the internet, and especially mobile, which continues to gobble up ad dollars, undermining newspapers and magazines. In fact, national newspapers lost 155 million pounds in ad dollars last year as spending fell across the board, and ad spending on the papers’ website fell far short of covering the gap.
And by the end of next year, British outdoor advertising (posters, roadside signs, etc) will be dragging in more ad revenues than the UK’s much-vaunted national newspapers such as The Sun, The Times, The Telegraph and the Financial Times. For the owners of these storied titles, it means more financial pain, more “reviews” and more job losses and cost-cutting along the lines The Guardian has undertaken in recent months, and which will happen at the Telegraph in the next few months.
Figures from the UK Advertising Association released overnight revealed that national (newspaper) news brands and their websites (such as the Mail Online and Daily Mail) suffered an 11% slide in ad revenues in 2015 to 1.2 billion pounds. The association’s report said print ad spending fell 13.4% to 1 billion pounds and that overwhelmed a 2.5% rise in digital ad spending to 220 million pounds. Among the different types of newspapers, tabloids recorded a sharp 16.7% slump in ad spending, while broadsheets had a slower 9.2% slide to 435 million pounds.
The Advertising Association’s report shows that by far the biggest slice of the advertising pie went to “internet” — which attracted 8.6 billion pounds last year, a rise of 17.3%. The report does not provide a breakdown of how internet advertising is spent, but like in the US and Australia, Google and especially Facebook are the major online/mobile players. Internet ad revenues are forecast to rise 11.5% this year and 10.6% next year. Mobile ad spending in the UK last year soared 61.1% to 2.6 billion (more than double the amount spent in national papers) and is forecast to jump 36.6% this year and be the biggest factor in the forecast 11.5% overall rise.
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