It looks like the daily newspaper delivery service of publications like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal is closer to its demise.
According to the Pew Research Center review, the circulation of newspapers has hit an all-time low. Weekday print circulation is down by 10% and the Sunday print circulation dropped by 9%.
Back in 1940, the newspaper circulation was over 40 million. Now, it’s at a new low of 34.6 million.
“Yearly financial statements show that The New York Times added more than 500,000 digital subscriptions in 2016 – a 47% year-over-year rise. The Wall Street Journal added more than 150,000 digital subscriptions, a 23% rise, according to audited statements produced by Dow Jones. And the Chicago Tribune added about 100,000 in weekday digital circulation, a 76% year-over-year gain, according to its filings with the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM), an organization that verifies many daily newspapers’ circulation figures,” writes Pew Research. “But these gains did not translate into circulation growth for the industry overall. A Pew Research Center analysis of data from AAM shows that total weekday circulation for U.S. daily newspapers – both print and digital – fell 8% in 2016, marking the 28th consecutive year of declines.”
Although the digital audience has increase, there was also a double-digit decline in advertising revenue for the industry as a whole.
“A separate Pew Research Center analysis based on the year-end financial statements of seven publicly traded U.S. newspaper companies suggests that advertising revenue across the industry declined even more sharply than in recent years: a 10% decline, which outpaces the 8% decline in 2015,” writes Pew Research.
According to Pew, the newspaper industry’s ad revenue is one third of what is was in 2006 and The New York Times specifically saw a 9% drop in ad revenue.
Author’s note: Digital has definitely made an impact and is partially to blame for the decrease in physical newspaper sales. But, it’s also the fact that these major publications have lost a lot of credibility. The New York Times and The Washington Post, in particular don’t even properly fact-check. Remember when The New York Times published Trump’s alleged 90s tax return which was not only based on documents from an unknown sender, but it also violated the law. Then the publication had the audacity to launch a “truth” campaign after being called out on its poor reporting with slogans like “The Truth Is More Important Now Than Ever, Discover It With Us” and “The Truth is Hard.”