Newspaper Publishers See Drop in Advertising Revenues
Some newspapers publishers have lifted paywalls for their online versions as a public service during the COVID-19 crisis. This could lead to more readers becoming paying customers in the future. Newspaper advertising has been significantly affected by COVID-19. The New York Times reported that advertising revenues had dropped by over 15% between Q1 2019 and Q2 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper announced in mid-June that it has laid off 68 people, many from its advertising team. Other newspaper companies like Gannett and A.H. Belo have also taken steps to preserve liquidity such as reducing salaries and cutting back on capital expenditures.
Newspaper publishers have found that COVID-19 is often being treated as an ad-free topic because of blacklists that stop ads from appearing next to certain categories of news. News executives argue that these blacklists can be arbitrary and unfair and that advertising revenue is declining because of their use. Some marketers have begun to address the problem. In the US, coronavirus related keyword blocking has declined by 80% since mid-March.
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