Newspapers: the Answer is Not Print or Digital; it's Integration!
One such expert—Gordon Borrell—expects print ad revenues to stabilize or grow slightly at most papers, a trend he says will continue through 2017. But the results will be uneven, with small and mid-sized papers having the best growth prospects and metros still declining in the range of 4-6%. Digital ad growth for the papers he surveys, which are mostly small and mid-sized, will be 30% in 2013.
In his opinion, newspaper organizations will only succeed to the extent that they target two growing categories of digital advertising: video (growing 30% next year) and targeted display (growing 105%). In contrast, those who stick with run-of-site banners and classified or directory listings might see low single-digit growth next year at best.
Furthermore, Borrell sees digital services like reputation management, search engine optimization, app development and social media management as hot growth areas. His takeaway for small and mid-sized papers is that, if they are selling what the advertisers are buying most, they can expect 15% plus growth and a 15-20% share of digital in their local markets. A Pew Research Center report covered a survey of 40 newspapers in early 2012 and showed they were losing $7 for every $1 gained in digital revenue.
However, there was good news comes from the newspapers looking at new revenue streams: