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Global newspaper circulation, advertising increases

Newspaper circulations world-wide rose 2.3% in 2006 while newspaper advertising revenues showed substantial gains, the World Association of Newspapers announced yesterday, Monday, 4 June 2007. WAN said global newspaper sales were up +2.3% over the year, and had increased +9.48% over the past five years. Newspaper sales increased year-on-year in Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, with North America the sole continent to register a decline.

When free dailies are added to the paid newspaper circulation, global circulation increased +4.61% last year, and +14.76% over the past five years. Free dailies now account for nearly 8%% of all global newspaper circulation and 31.94% in Europe alone.

Advertising revenues in paid dailies were up +3.77% last year from a year earlier, and up +15.77% over five years, WAN said. No figures were available for free daily advertising revenues.

“Newspapers in developing markets continue to increase circulation by leaps and bounds, and in mature markets are showing remarkable resilience against the onslaught of digital media. Even in many developed nations the industry is maintaining or even increasing sales,” said Timothy Balding, CEO of the Paris-based WAN . “At the same time, newspapers are exploiting to the full all the new opportunities provided by the digital distribution channels to increase their audiences.

“As the digital tide gathers strength, it is remarkable that the press in print continues to be the media of preference for the majority of readers who want to remain informed.”

Balding added, “These results are even better than we expected from provisional data available a few months ago. Once again we can see that far from being an industry in decline, as the ill-informed and short-sighted continue to contend, newspapers are alive and well and exhibiting enormous innovation and energy to maintain their place as the news media of preference for hundreds of millions of people daily.”

The new data, from WAN's annual survey of world press trends, was released to more than 1600 publishers, editors and other senior newspaper executives from 109 countries attending the 60th World Newspaper Congress and 14th World Editors Forum in Cape Town, South Africa. The main figures showed that global circulations and advertising revenues are increasing world-wide. In addition, the free daily market is giving renewed impetus to newspaper reading, and newspaper web traffic continues high growth.

The figures showed:

  • Paid circulation grew +2.3% worldwide in 2006 from a year earlier, taking global sales to a new high of more than 515 million daily. With free dailies added, daily circulation increases to nearly 556 million, a +4.61% increase from the total of paid and free dailies in 2005.

  • The total number of paid-for daily titles was up 3.46% in the world in 2006 and up 17.67% since 2002 to a record 11,207 titles. The total number of paid and free titles increased by +4.33% in 2006 and by
    +19.63% since 2002.

  • Newspaper advertising revenue increased 3.77% in 2006 from a year earlier, and was up 15.77% over five years.

    The survey, which WAN has published annually since 1986, this year includes information on all countries and territories where newspapers are published – 232.

    The 2007 World Press Trends report reveals:

    On circulation

  • Paid daily newspaper circulations were up in 31% of the countries surveyed in 2006, stable in half the countries and down in 19%. Over the past five years, newspaper circulations were up in more than half of the countries surveyed and stable in 20%.

  • More than 515 million people buy a newspaper every day, up from 488 million in 2002. Average readership is estimated to be more than 1.4 billion people each day.

  • Seven of 10 of the world's 100 best selling dailies are now published in Asia. China, Japan and India account for 60 of them.

  • The five largest markets for newspapers are: China, with 98.7 million copies sold daily; India, with 88.9 million copies daily; Japan, with 69.1 million copies daily; the United States, with 52.3 million; and Germany, 21.1 million.

  • Circulation sales were up +3.61% in Asia in 2006 over the previous year, up +4.55% in South America, up +0.74% in Europe, up +0.65% in Africa, up +2.11% in Australia and Oceania, and down
  • 1.97% in North America.

  • The number of paid-for newspaper titles increased everywhere but South America, where it was stable. The number of newspaper titles was up 7% in Asia, 1.3% in Europe, 0.67% in North America, 1.2% in Africa and 1.14% in Australia and Oceania.

    Daily paid newspapers in Europe saw a +0.74% increase in circulation in 2006, and a -4.12% decrease over five years. When free dailies are added, circulation increased +10.19% year-on-year and +12.84%
    over five years.

  • In the European Union, paid daily newspapers saw a -0.87%% drop in 2006 and a -5.63% drop since 2002. Combined with free dailies, circulation in the EU rose +7.56% over one year and +12.22
    % over five years.

    Newspapers in 10 European Union countries increased their total circulation in 2006. They were: Austria +9.43%, Estonia +7.81%, Ireland +5.54%, Italy +1.88%, Lithuania +1.52%, Malta +5.26
    %, Poland +2.13%, Portugal +8.95%, Romania +25.70%, and Slovakia +1.09%. Circulation was stable in Cyprus.

    Those reporting losses were: Belgium -2.86, Czech Republic -1.78, Denmark -1.71, Finland -0.71, France -1.55, Germany -2.1, Greece -4.85, Hungary -0.62, Latvia -7.76, Luxembourg -0.87, The Netherlands – 2.07, Slovenia -18.60, Spain 2.14, Sweden -2.14 and the United Kingdom -2.66.

    Over the five years 2002-2006, circulation rose in nine countries: Austria +10.25%, Cyprus +11.11%, Czech Republic +1.24%, Estonia +8.24%, Ireland +35.36%, Malta +25%, Poland +24.95%, Portugal +12.70%, and Slovenia +1.74%.

    In the same period, circulation declined in: Belgium -3.46%, Denmark -11.5%; Finland -1.94%; France -5.70%; Germany -9.35%; Greece -2.79%; Hungary -9.03%; Italy -4.49%; Latvia -17.05, Luxembourg -3.39, Netherlands -11.13%; Slovakia -9.18%; Spain -1.13%; Sweden -3.95% and the United Kingdom -12.5%.

    Elsewhere in Europe, circulation in 2006 increased +2.80% in Turkey and +36.25% in Croatia. It declined -2.91% in Norway, and -2.54% in Switzerland.

    Over five years, the decline was -10.1% in Norway, -9.64% in Switzerland and -6.20% in Croatia, while it climbed +55.57% in Turkey.

  • The number of paid-for newspaper titles in the EU climbed +0.41% in 2006, to 1,482, and was up +3.2% over five years. When paid and free titles are combined, the number of titles rose +2.57% over one year and +8.44% over five years.

  • The circulation of US dailies fell -1.9% in 2006 and -5.18% over five years. Most of the decline came in evening dailies, which saw a year-on-year circulation decline of -4.62%, compared with only -1.48
    % for morning dailies. Over the past five years, evening dailies declined -19.62%, compared with a -2.52% drop for morning newspapers.

  • In Japan, newspaper sales fell by -0.83% in 2006. Over five years, sales were down -2.42%.

  • China newspaper sales continue to perform well, up +2.27 and +15.53% over one and five years.

  • In Latin America, where it has been difficult to obtain reliable data, Brazilian newspaper sales were up + 6.50% in 2006 and up +3.70% over five years. Colombia newspaper sales increased 3.23% in 2006 but were down -11.1% over five years.

  • Indian newspaper sales increased 12.93% in 2006 and 53.63% in the five-year period.

  • Elsewhere in Asia, sales were up in Malaysia (+1.82%), Singapore (+4.06%), Bangladesh (+8.3%) and Korea (+10.59%) over one year, and down in Taiwan (-6.67%). Over five years, sales rose in Taiwan (+2.44%), Malaysia (+19.97%), Singapore (0.48%), Thailand (+12.31%), Bangladesh (+30%) and Korea (+19%).

  • Sales in Australia recorded an increase of + 2.95% in 2006 and were stable over five years, while New Zealand newspaper sales were down -1.10 year-on-year and down -3.22% over five years.

  • In Africa, sales were up 8.24% in South Africa in 2006, and 43.18% over five years. Sales were stable in Nigeria and Kenya in 2006 and up 7.89% and 1.90% respectively over five years.

  • The Japanese remain the world's greatest newspaper buyers, with 630.9 daily sales per thousand adults. They are followed by Norway with 601.2 sales per thousand, Colombia with 587.8, Finland with 514.7 and Sweden with 466.2.

  • The Belgians spend the most time with their newspapers -- 54 minutes a day -- followed by the Chinese, Finns and Brazilians, with 48 minutes each, on average.

  • Sunday newspaper circulations declined -3.69% in 2006 and -6.2% over five years. The United States and the United Kingdom remain the largest markets for Sunday papers by far.

  • Circulation for non-daily newspapers rose 7.29% over one year and 18.68% over five years.

    On advertising

  • Global newspaper advertising revenues have increased for four straight years and were up +3.77% in 2006.

  • Newspapers share of the world ad market held relatively steady with 29.6%, marginally down from 29.8% in 2005. Newspapers remain the world's second largest advertising medium, after television, with more revenue that radio, cinema, outdoor, magazines and the internet combined. When newspapers and magazines are combined, print is the world's largest advertising medium, with a 42% share, compared to 38% for television.

    Seventeen countries saw newspaper advertising market share growth in 2006: Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Greece, Indonesia, India, Hong Kong, Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and South Africa.

    Over five years, newspapers in 12 countries and territories saw increased market share: Austria, Denmark, Greece, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Taiwan, Puerto Rico, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

  • Newspaper advertising revenues in the USA, by far the largest newspaper advertising market in the world, decreased by -1.68% in 2006 but increased by +5.69% over the last five years.

  • In Japan, ad expenditures declined in 2006 by -3.20% but were up 10% over the past five years.

  • China saw an increase in advertising revenues of +16% last year, and +58% over five years.

  • Newspaper markets in the European Union saw a +1.36% increase in newspaper advertising revenues in 2006, and a +39.54% increase over five years.

    Twenty-one of 24 EU countries for which data was available showed increases in advertising revenue in 2006: Austria +5.7%, Belgium +19%, Bulgaria +71.90%, Czech Republic +12.47%, Denmark +0.53
    %, Estonia +15.64%, Finland +2.50%, France +1.37%, Germany +1.13%, Greece +1.45%, , Ireland +4.49
    %, Italy +3.77%, Latvia +4.87%, Lithuania +6.12%, Luxembourg +43%, Poland +11%, Romania + 11.18%, Slovakia +11%, Slovenia +20.96%, Spain +0.21%, and Sweden +0.05%,

    Newspaper advertising revenue declined in Hungary (-6.49%), The Netherlands (-0.46%), and the United Kingdom (-4%).

    Over five years, advertising revenues was up in all 23 countries for which data was available: Austria +50.38%, Belgium +107.5%, Bulgaria +3.98%, the Czech Republic +91.74%, Denmark +42.71%, Estonia +124.68%, Finland +2.5%, France +33.80%, Germany +20.14%, Greece +57.20%, Hungary +62.88%, Ireland +63%, Italy +39.53%, Latvia +49.66%, Lithuania +71.85%, Luxembourg +43.24%, Netherlands 54.74%, Poland +200%, Romania +111.57%, Slovakia +179%, Spain +0.51%, Sweden +46.7%, and the United Kingdom +25%.

  • In India, newspaper advertising revenues increased +23.18% over one year and +85% over the last five. South Africa also saw remarkable gains -- +20.71% over one year and 141% over five years. Turkey's percentage gains were +3.01% in 2006 and +152% over the past five years.

  • In Australia revenues were down +2.77% over one year but rose +65.44% over five years. New Zealand saw a marginal +0.84% gain last year and an increase of 33.28% over five years.

    Free dailies

  • A total of 287 free daily newspapers had a combined circulation of 40.7 million daily, a circulation increase of 55% over one year and 241% over five years. Twenty-seven million of those daily copies are distributed in Europe alone.

  • The five largest free dailies are Metro in the United Kingdom (1.13 million copies), Leggo in Italy (1.05 million), 20 Minutos in Spain (997,000), Que! in Spain (970,000), and ADN in Spain (914,000).

    The World Press Trends 2007 edition is now available at or by contacting the World Association of Newspapers, 7 rue Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, 75005 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 00, Fax +33 1 47 42 49 48. Email .

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