Newspaper Circulation Hits 77-Year Low

Newspapers continue to cling to life even with circulation hitting a 77-year low.  The Pew Research Center found weekday circulation dropped to 34.6 million last year, six million fewer than in 1940. 

Meanwhile, the price of a daily paper continues to climb to make up the difference.

“Volumes was down, but revenues were about the same, so the industry is collectively still bringing in 10 to 11 billion dollars in paid circulation,” says Rick Edmonds, media business analyst at the Poynter Institute.

However, Edmonds says there is definitely an age gap when it comes to those who like to hold an actual paper, and those who get local news online.

“Even as there is a swing, fairly strongly to digital, newspaper organizations probably need to be producing two different products for different audiences,” he says.

Edmonds says some papers have already scaled back to only Sunday circulation; others have launched two separate websites targeting different audiences and advertisers.

“I'm definitely in the school that newspapers are not going to go away, and at some point some may pull back to just a Sunday edition and ask people to read online the rest of the time, but they're not there yet.”

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