National titles to record 9% decline with display revenue falling below £1bn for the first time, according to Group M analysis
The ailing UK newspaper advertising market is set to get even worse next year with national titles forecast to face an almost 9% decline that will see display revenue fall below £1bn for the first time, according to Sir Martin Sorrell’s Group M.
Despite a slight improvement in the outlook for regional newspapers in 2013, a second year of double-digit ad decline will see advertising in this sector also dip below the £1bn mark for the first time. In 2005 the regional newspaper advertising market was worth more than £2.5bn.
Group M, WPP’s media buying division, has significantly downgraded its forecast for national newspapers for 2012, from a prediction in July of a 6.3% year-on-year ad revenue decline for the full 12 months to a 7.7% drop in its December report.
Beleaguered publishers, who are already attempting to deal with a £250m shortfall versus predictions for total UK newspaper advertising this year, will not find any respite in Group M’s latest forecast for 2013.
The market is set to get worse, with Group M’s prediction back in the summer of a 5% year on year fall in 2013 now downgraded to an 8.6% decline.
Total national newspaper advertising market revenue fall from £1.19bn this year to £1.09bn in 2013, according to Group M.
“Advertiser budgets are more short-term than ever, if that were possible,” notes Group M. “The default starting point for 2013 print budget planning is 2012 minus ‘x’.”
Within this display advertising at national titles is forecast to fall 9% year-on-year, to £928m, the first time it has fallen below £1bn. Classified advertising in national titles will fall 5.9%, to just £160m.
Group M has slightly improved its outlook for regional newspapers next year between its summer and winter reports, albeit the advertising decline remains double-digit and will still take the sector below the £1bn mark for the first time.
The WPP media buying business has improved its view of the regional market from an 11.1% year-on-year fall in 2013 published in July, to a 10.4% drop.
Total spend on regional newspaper advertising is projected to fall from about £1.09bn this year to £971m at the end of next year.
Group M said that despite real issues in the regional market there has been success with sales body AMRA, which represents the publishers including Trinity Mirror and Daily Mail & General Trust and aims to offer “national” advertising reach.
“Regional print is [already] in trouble but there is a widespread advertiser perception that the problem, in display anyway, is even more serious than it is already,” said Group M. “AMRA’s The National [initiative] is a bright spot, generally thought to be regional [newspapers’] best-ever shot at the national advertiser pound. One certainty is that it could do with more demand.”
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