Newspaper online advertising slows to crawl

turtle.jpgMore bad news for newspapers. We’ve all gotten used to hearing that circulation is down, print advertising is down, newspapers are cutting staff and the industry is in deep, deep trouble.

The one silver lining to all of this was the online efforts of newspapers, which were supposed to save the industry. Advertising dollars were actually growing at a rapid pace.

That was then, apparently. The New York Times reports today that online advertising growth at newspapers had slowed to a crawl.

After 17 quarters of ballooning growth, online revenue at newspaper sites is falling. In the second quarter, it was down 2.4 percent compared with last year, to $777 million, according to the Newspaper Association of America. It was the only year-over-year drop since the group began measuring online revenue in 2003.

It seems that the huge amount of display advertising has shrunk, meaning that newspapers have been forced to cut prices.

Newspaper websites snare more viewers

newspapers.jpgThe Newspaper Association of America released numbers on Tuesday showing how ever more people are turning to the Internet to get news.

That’s good news in the sense that it presents an ever-more convincing case to advertisers that they should be working with their friendly neighborhood newspapers, ie, giving them lots of money and helping them survive. On the other hand, those online readers used to help those papers a lot more when they bought them in print… But that’s another story.

Here’s the release, which includes some links to the NAA’s latest pitch to advertisers on why newspapers are the right place to buy ad space:

Newspaper Association, now with 14% less advertising!

First the Newspaper Association of America canceled its annual conference for U.S. newspaper publishers to tell Wall Street about how great their businesses are. No surprise; business isn’t great.

Now it’s dropping its tradition of sending out a quarterly press release with details on how much money advertisers are spending in the papers, something we discovered after reading the story over at the competition. What’s next? No more website?

I called the Newspaper Association to ask why they stopped sending out the information. Could it be because the 14 percent drop in the first quarter compared to the quarter last year is just the latest and worst in a series of bad numbers?