Newspaper advertising sales in 2008 fell by a record $7.5 billion, or 16.6%, according to yearend figures reported today by the Newspaper Association of America.
Print and online ad sales for the industry last year totaled $37.8 billion, as compared with a bit less than $45.4 billion in 2007.Sales declined at an accelerating pace in each quarter of 2008, tumbling nearly 20% in the last three months of the worst year in the history of the industry.
The industry has shed nearly $11.6 billion in sales since achieving its all-time peak of $49.4 billion in 2005. Thus, 23.2% of its revenue base was vaporized in just three years.
Sales fell in every revenue category in 2008, including online, which the industry had hoped would offset mounting losses in print sales.
Although online advertising gained 7% in the first three months of 2008, it fell in each successive quarter, tumbling 8.1% in the final period. Total online bookings for the year came to $3.1 billion, or 1.8% lower than the prior year.
For 2009, Alan predicts a further 17% drop.