New OECD report on “The future of news and the Internet”

The death of the newspaper is greatly exaggerated — generally speaking from the point of view of the OECD. Aside from in the U.S., the decline in revenues is on par with the general financial decline in recent years.

Figure 1. Estimated newspaper publishing market decline in OECD countries, 2007-2009 (in per cent)

…[A] new OECD report looking at “The Future of News and the Internet”. It contains new data and analysis on the global newspaper industry and the challenges presented by the Internet. Its main message is that “large country-by-country and title-by-title differences and the data currently do not lend themselves to make the case for “the death of the newspaper”, in particular if non-OECD countries and potential positive effects of the economic recovery are taken into account.” The full report, including data and charts, is available at,3343,en_2649_34223_45449136_1_1_1_1,00.html

After very profitable years, newspaper publishers in most OECD countries face declining advertising revenues, titles and circulation. The economic crisis has amplified this downward development.

About 20 out of 30 OECD countries face declining newspaper readership, with significant decreases in some OECD countries. Newspaper readership is usually lower among younger people who tend to attribute less importance to print media. In OECD countries, the general, regional and local press have been hardest hit and 2009 was expected to be the worst year for OECD newspapers, with the largest declines in the United States, the United Kingdom, Greece, Italy, Canada, and Spain (but much a much smaller impact on countries such as Austria, Australia (See above).

But in emerging economies, for example, the average daily paid newspaper circulation has been growing for a number of years (see Figure 2 below): by about 35 per cent in the BIICS countries from 2000 to 2008, most notably India with a 45 per cent increase in circulation between 2000 and 2008, South Africa (34 per cent) and China (an estimated 29 per cent). Other countries and continents, including Africa and South America, are also gaining readers. This rise has compensated for the drop in OECD paid circulation and led to an actual increase in the number of world newspapers – by 14 per cent from 2002-2008.

Figure 2. Paid for dailies average total daily circulation
2000-2008 (in millions). Worldwide, OECD, BIICS (Brazil, India, Indonesia, China and South Africa)

Source: OECD based on data from the World Association of Newspapers (WAN).

For more information on OECD work on the Information Economy, see here

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