Arlington, Va.—Newspapers last year showed their first circulation revenue increase in nine years, with growth attributed to the recent success of paid digital circulation, according to new data compiled by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA).
A 5% overall growth in circulation revenue was the first gain in this category for the newspaper industry since 2003. Within that total, for the companies supplying detailed breakdowns, digital-only circulation revenue grew 275%; print and digital bundled circulation revenue grew 499%.
NAA's projections show that total U.S. newspaper media revenue declined by 2% to $38.6 billion last year from $39.5 billion in 2011. Although advertising revenue slipped 6% last year, circulation revenue grew 5% and new revenue sources not tied to conventional advertising increased by 8%. Those sources included digital agency and marketing activities, e-commerce, event marketing and commercial delivery of products other than newspapers.
Study data were collected from 17 companies, private and public, that represent a broad sample of daily newspaper operations across the U.S.