U.S. Newspaper Industry - Statistics & Facts

U.S. Newspaper Industry - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and facts on the U.S. Newspaper Industry

As of 2015, there were five billion newspaper readers in the world. Nearly three billion of them read printed newspapers. Newspapers only accounted for four percent of media’s total revenue generated through digital sales that year. Although print still predominant, figures show that the global newspaper industry is shifting towards digital platforms. The digital newspaper industry revenue is forecast to grow by 9.8 percent annually from 2015 to 2020; whereas non-digital is forecast to experience a decline of annual three percent during the same measured period.


Overall, the newspaper industry has seen better days in the U.S. Consumption of newspaper is expected to decline considerably. In 2014, Americans spent, on average, about 19 minutes reading newspapers on a daily basis. By 2017, American consumers will only dedicate daily 14 minutes with the medium. In terms of digital platforms, digital consumption in the U.S. newspaper market falls in line with global consumption. Print still predominant, as 51.5 percent of American only read print newspapers. However, about 12 percent of newspaper readers in the U.S. consume newspaper content via print, web and mobile, and 11.4 percent turned to print and web for their newspaper content. This change in consumption is reflected on employment and revenue. Employment in this sector is undergoing critical cuts, with figures down from 256,800 employees in 2010 to 183,200 in 2016. Revenue of the newspaper industry in the U.S. is forecast to drop from around 30.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 to 27 billion U.S. dollars by 2020.

Newspaper publishers’ key source of revenue – advertising – is projected to shrink in the next years, going from around 18 U.S. billion in 2013 to about 16 billion U.S. dollars by 2017. As of 2015, about 12.2 percent of all ad expenditures in the U.S. were expected to be devoted to newspapers, a lower figure than the previous years. In 2008, for example, newspaper ad expenditure share in the country stood at just over 22 percent. The top 5 newspaper advertisers in the U.S. are Macy’s, News Corp., Bankrate, Sprint and Target. Macy’s spent 302.9 million U.S. dollars on newspaper advertising in 2015.

The Wall Street Journal is the leading newspaper in the U.S. in regards to paid print circulation. The New York Times, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and USA Today complete the top 5 of biggest daily newspapers in the country. USA Today has the leading newspaper website in the U.S. – USAToday.com – with 54 million unique visitors in January 2015. The second-ranked New York Times (NYTimes.com) had about 54 million unique visitors during the same period.



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