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Newspaper industry in Italy - statistics & facts

Italy’s newspaper industry is, like many around the world, not as prosperous as it once was. Newspaper subscriptions in Italy are far from ubiquitous: just over eight percent of Italians reported getting a newspaper via a subscription in the last year. Although more than 45 percent of consumers responding to the same survey reported that they had purchased a paper at some time in the last 12 months, a similar share had only read a daily publication that they had found or borrowed. Even well-known newspapers have seen a sharp drop in their circulation revenue in recent years, and this looks set to continue as consumers find their news elsewhere.

Newspaper readers in Italy

The majority of daily newspaper readers in Italy are male, with women more likely to be magazine readers. Most Italians who read weekly newspapers have a high school diploma or completed middle school, and the same is true of those who read daily publications. Given that most newspaper readers are aged 54 or above, it follows that retirees are the regular readers, whereas students account for a smaller share of Italy’s newspaper audience.

Circulation and readership

Despite being among Italy’s most popular and recognized papers, the circulation of La Repubblica fell sharply in the last decade. The number of copies sold and distributed more than halved in that time frame, and La Stampa has found itself in a similar position.

Newspapers will continue to struggle in Italy as more consumers turn to online options (many of which are free). It is unlikely that print publications will see any kind of future uptick in circulation and readership, particularly as Italian consumers are increasingly using social media for their news. In fact, data on using Facebook for news in Europe found that the share of Italians using Facebook for news was higher than that of consumers in Germany and the United Kingdom combined. With 50 percent of Italians now getting news from the social media giant, it is only a matter of time before many turn away from newspapers altogether.

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