Newspaper Revenues Continue to Plummet

What do newspapers have in common with dinosaurs?  They once both ruled the world, but eventually went extinct.

Where oh where will the newspaper go?

Yes, newspapers are still with us.  But for how long?  The Associated Press recently reported on the first quarter 2010 revenues for the industry.  It was ugly: Ad revenue dropped 10 percent to $6 billion

This was the smallest year-over-year dive in nearly three years, but still a significant double digit decrease nonetheless.  As the AP noted, the harsh reality is that in 2006 the first quarter revenues for newspapers were nearly $12 billion.  Ad revenues in the four years since have been slashed nearly in half.

I dubbed 2009 the year of the Great Media Collapse – as print magazines and newspapers already damaged by the web struggled to survive at the height the global economic collapse.  And there’s no doubt that 2009 was a terrible one – a large number of magazines and newspapers going belly up and more than 15,000 jobs in the industry vaporized (including almost 6,000 reporters and editors).

But earlier this year, it looked like the massive cuts in the industry might have right-sized newspapers for 2010 – but that is looking like nothing more than wishful thinking.

Newspapers continue their downward spiral, yet cling to their outdated revenue model.  The industry needs to start innovating fast – moving operations to the web and figuring out new ways to monetize before it is too late.

What do you think?  Are newspapers doomed to follow dinosaurs into extinction?

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