Print – Time of Death: 2015

by Lee Sparrow | May 28, 2015

stack of papers

There’s something nostalgic about holding a newspaper, magazine, or book in your hand and flipping through the pages.

But enjoy them while you can, because the digital age is upon us, and more and more print companies are falling victim to the digital boom. In the words of Bob Dylan, “The times, they are a-changin’.”

In a world where a plug can be found at every corner, readers find it more convenient to get their news through smartphones, tablets, and TV—not good news for the print business.

Declining Ad Revenues and Readership

According to, print ad revenues are at their lowest since the 1950s when readership first began being tracked. Ad revenues are down more than 50% within the past five years. The rising costs of paper and ink are adding to the headache.

The age demographic for newspapers and magazines is skewing older, with 70% of readers age 65+. But even members of older generations are embracing the change and receiving their news via digital platforms.

The following graph reflects the decline in newspaper readership across several demographic age groups over the past 15 years:


Source: Nielsen Scarborough USA+ 1999 – 2014, Release 1

The numbers speak for themselves. While print audiences have rapidly declined over the last decade, TV viewership is still going strong.  In a results-driven campaign, TV is still king and will likely remain so for years to come.

But print’s declining revenues can create more opportunities to grab remnant/pay-per-inquiry inventory. Our Senior YP Manager, Katie Saltonstall, is looking into other PPI opportunities across all media platforms. But that is a story for a different time.