The future of newspapers: owners seek safety in numbers

The outlook for print advertising has gone from bad to worse. Print newspaper ad spending in the UK, for instance, is set to fall by £135m to £866m this year, even steeper than the £112m drop in 2015, says Enders Analysis. “These are big numbers,” says Douglas McCabe, an analyst at Enders. “This is not advertising that is going to come back.”

Newspaper owners have look­ed to fill the print gap with digital sales, but now they are also losing market share in digital to Facebook and Google, which together ac­count for about 75 per cent of new online ad spending globally.

The brutal declines in ad revenues have prompted some of the UK’s biggest newspaper owners, including Telegraph Media Group, Trinity Mirror and News UK, to discuss forming a single advertising sales operation. The aim would be to make it easier for agencies to buy display ad inventory, and thereby compete better with broadcasters and digital media companies.

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